Being Mindful of Strong Emotions Brings Confidence
When someone asks 'how you are?', do you usually say, "I'm fine thanks" even if you are anything but fine. Perhaps you think the other person isn't really interested in your answer, or perhaps you are trying to get through a tough day by faking it till you make it, which by the way is just fine, I've done it many a time. If however, we continually ignore our emotions we are likely to experience more stress and anxiety which start to impact our relationships, our performance and happiness. Here's a few examples of what can happen when we push on through pretending everything is OK when it isn't:
1. You say and do things you wish you hadn't - e.g the impulsive email to your colleague or client, or words said in anger to your family.
2. You make more mistakes - all that resistance to your emotions means you are missing out on the totality of your awesome wisdom. You can't supress one part of your brain without it affecting the rest.
3. You feel totally exhausted - yes that's all that resistance again as you push against the reality of your emotions.
4. You get sick more often - ignoring emotions (which are experienced as physiological sensations), means we are not paying attention to the signals our body is giving us. It may be shouting STOP, take a break but you won't notice until you're at the pharmacist counter stocking up on flu medicine, by which time it's too late.
5. You aren't Emotionally Intelligent - acknowledging and working with strong emotions is something that highly Emotionally Intelligent people are great at. Emotional Intelligence is a key differentiator in career success and happiness.
The good news is that Mindfulness practice builds self-awareness and Emotional Intelligence in bucket loads, and the foundation of EI is, yes, you've guessed it, Self Awareness. The best part of learning to recognize emotions is that we develop confidence. When we aren't scared of feeling strong negative emotions we know we can cope with whatever life throws at us. After all, our emotions are not US. They are part of our experience of the world, and like everything else they come and go.
Why not try out our BREATHING SPACE practice here and use it to check in with yourself during the day. Notice how your body feels and notice what's going on in your head. Whatever you notice just let it be as it is. You are likely to find that taking these few minutes to check in with yourself and acknowledge whatever it is you are feeling will help soften strong emotions and allow you a much needed moment of self care and calm. Over time this practice will help build the self-awareness and emotional resilience that we all need in today's world.