Managing Emotions Through Meditation: Is It Helpful?
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By Flo Milano
Meditation is an effective way to manage our emotions by calming our mind and body, allowing us to create a positive outlook on life and make better judgment calls. Through meditation, you can develop deep insights into yourself and discover the root causes of your negative emotions so that you can address them in kinder, healthier ways.
Read on to learn more about the impact of bottling emotions, how important it is to manage negative feelings, and how meditation can help you deal with them.
Stifling Your Emotions
To "bottle up" is to hold back your emotions. This means stifling your feelings and not allowing yourself to let them out. However, avoiding complicated feelings does not make them go away, whether because you are afraid of being vulnerable or hesitating to feel negative emotions, which can both harm bodies and minds.
Experts say that our bodies and minds are closely intertwined and that mental health is a crucial component of physical health and well-being. We often tend to disturb the proper balance of cortisol, the stress hormone, when we experience unpleasant emotions like anger and anxiety.
Ziva’s Emily Fletcher says that the effects of meditation on the body are like eating a hamburger and drinking a chia seed smoothie, with each impact differently. Various styles of meditation light up unique areas of the brain, require levels of energy and duration and provide distinct benefits in daily life.
How Regulating Your Emotions Is Important
Managing emotions means healthily working with your emotions. Discovering and becoming aware of it, processing the thoughts behind it, accepting and letting yourself feel it, and finally, letting it go. It is a skill that anyone can learn.
There is nothing shameful if we don't already know how to efficiently deal with our emotions. It isn't something taught in school, but it is something we may or may not discover on our own.
It is normal to assume that emotions sometimes are so intense that we feel out of control. It happens to any of us, whether we are suffering from a mood or personality disorder or mental health conditions that can make it difficult to manage emotional reactions.
Here are some reasons why managing your emotions is good for you, according to research:
- Your relationships become balanced. If we learn to make space between feeling and saying or doing, we have already gained control over our emotions.
- You prevent unnecessary arguments. Reasons for conflict are sometimes much deeper than superficial reasons and may relate to unfulfilled needs. By learning control, we can focus on communication and finding solutions.
- You lower the risk of having heart disease. High-stress levels, anger, and depression have a significant impact on the development of heart rhythm disorders. Having heart conditions can worsen because of negative thinking patterns and emotions such as anger, and inappropriate management of anger has also been linked to hypertension, digestive problems, and other conditions.
- You improve your well-being. Emotions come and go, and if we know how to guide them, we can feel better. We are calmer when we no longer feel angry or when sadness was integrated as part of a painful experience. With this, overall well-being can improve.
- You can create healthy habits. We all have unhealthy habits. Although, when our suppressed emotions are at their core, these habits can become problems that threaten our balance on multiple levels in our life.
It is challenging to process feelings that have been bottled up. To let go of one's emotions can be simple for some people but difficult for others. A therapist or a mental health professional can assist you in exploring what you're going through if you don't know how to deal with your suppressed emotions or understand your inner thoughts.
4 Effective Steps to Take Control of Your Emotions
So, how can you lessen negative thought patterns in real life? Here are some mindfulness and meditation tips to help you avoid getting sucked into the never-ending cycle of worry and self-doubt and build positive emotions.
Relax Your Body
We physically tighten up when we have unfavourable thoughts, which increases our level of distress. Give yourself a few moments to sit, breathe, and unwind as a break from reality. Try your best to relax any area of your body that is feeling tense. Allow the force of your breath to ease the tension as you exhale, visualising that you are directing it toward the location of discomfort.
Be motionless while meditating and mentally scan your entire body, from your head to your toes. Feel every component of your centre of gravity. Your mind can be occupied by concentrating on your body, which can keep it from becoming distracted by a wave of unfavourable thoughts.
Focus on the Good Things
There is always something you can concentrate on that is rooted in pleasure, regardless of whether you experience chronic pain and emotional pain, headaches, etc. Instead of concentrating on your different ills, consider how your body feels right now. Try rotating your shoulders, stretching your neck, or doing yoga if you're experiencing problems. Your entire body should start to feel soft, allowing you to direct your attention there.
Observe Your Negative Thinking Patterns With Care
Don't try to compel a bad idea to go away when it arises. This is analogous to trying to swim against a current rather than fighting it. Instead, take it as it is and observe it. Instead of thinking, assume the role of the observer. Just let the notion drift away, keeping in mind that your thoughts are independent of you and your Higher Self. The act of recognizing your negative thinking patterns will frequently be sufficient to stop the loop before it begins.
We begin to breathe more shallowly when we are worried, which indicates that we are not getting enough oxygen deep in our lungs. Pull your shoulders back, keep your back straight, and concentrate on taking long, slow, and deep breathing.
Ram Dass, a mindfulness and spiritual teacher, says: “Don’t try to control your breath. Simply watch it. Fast or slow, shallow or deep, the nature of the breath does not matter. Your full attention to it is what counts.”
Returning your concentration to the breath can help you break a cycle and teach your mind to pay attention to events that are happening rather than your ideas if you notice that your thoughts are slipping into negative thought patterns.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh of The Art of Mindful Living, mindfulness can help us to enjoy any moment of the day, from brushing our teeth to eating a meal and even driving a car. This energy can be practised through standing, walking, speaking, or anything else we might do.
By including meditation in your regularly scheduled activities, you can make it a natural part of your day. You don't need to meditate at the same duration or the same hour on a daily basis, but getting into the routine of doing it either in the morning or just before bedtime will promote a better meditation experience.
As your trust builds and you learn how to control negative thoughts, a change in your attitude can be another improvement, helping you reconnect with your body and be in the here and now.
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