Thursday, June 27, 2013

Staying Grounded in the Midst of an Emotional Storm...

When you are in the middle of an emotional storm it is hard to stay grounded. The emotion can come on so strong and so suddenly that you are swept up in the feelings and end up saying and doing things, behaving in ways that are irrational and hurtful. Whether you are hurtful toward yourself or others there is a real need to learn how to help yourself through the emotion. Emotions are like the waves of the ocean they are meant to flow through you. What stops this from happening is that our thoughts pair up with the emotion and then we are off and running into stories that are laden with negativity, and fear. It is out of this fear that we often react in ways that aren't helpful. So the next time you find yourself triggered and getting primed to react try the following:

  • Become aware of the signals your body is reacting to thoughts or feelings (hands clenched, jaw tight, blood rushing to your face, heartbeat racing).
  • Begin to connect with your breath. Not just breathing, actually attuning to the sensation of the breath enter through the nostrils and feeling the breath fill your chest, lungs and as the diaphragm lifts feel your belly rise. 
  • Count each breath slowly 1........2......3.....4....5....and as you breathe out try and soften the places of tension in your body.
  • Use a mantra to help soothe the emotions. A mantra can be a positive statement made in present tense such as I breathe in peace, I breathe out peace. Continue until you begin to feel calmness come into your body and the mind is more settled.
  • Take care of yourself as long as you need to before addressing the issue.
  • Exlplore what you need in the moment rather than sharing a story filled with judgment, criticism and blame. Instead of telling your partner "You are so selfish.." connect with what came up for you and express this in an "I" statement. An example would be, " I really wanted you to listen to me and understand my feelings."

Above all know that when you practice mindfulness in moments of intense reactivity you are making a healthy choice to stay present and tend to what is happening in the moment and that is a very loving and compassionate act.

May you be well
May you be peaceful
May you be free of suffering...