You Can Control Your Emotions
Our minds are always working. Many of us meditate and can focus on our breath, or something specific such as the sounds around us, or the feel of the air on our face. But our minds are always at work. Some of our thoughts and emotions drain our energy and some can boost our energy. Ideally, we will learn how to respond to our emotions in such a way that they aren’t draining our energy.
Do you pay attention to your thoughts? Do some thoughts overtake your mind and keep you from focusing on your current task? Do you have trouble focusing on what you are reading or a show you are watching? Would you like to control your monkey-mind? We all have monkey-mind from time to time. When this happens, it is ok to let it happen for a short time, but we don’t want that to be our normal mind. We want to be able to get the racing thoughts settled so we can be productive and do the things we want, and to be the person we want to be.
Emotions are neither good nor bad; they are all valuable and natural according to Dr. Jamie Rabin in the Chopra Newsletter. However, we do not want our emotions to control our lives. We want to control our emotions and our lives. We want to have a healthy relationship with our emotions. Let’s get started!
Some of the more common emotions we experience that intrude on our thoughts and enjoyment include:
A powerful emotion, anger, can often lead to other emotions, to uncontrolled outbursts when released, or to illnesses such as high blood pressure, muscle tension, or inflammation when suppressed.
When we have learned how to manage our anger it can be beneficial as a motivator. We can use our anger to direct us to create positive changes such as setting appropriate boundaries, letting go of unhealthy habits, or starting new healthy habits.
Anxiety can lead us to feel restless, have trouble concentrating, and feel agitated. Anxiety can cause us to have trouble sleeping, which in turn can lead to more anxiety. Over time, chronic anxiety can cause health issues such as increased blood pressure, sleeplessness, and a weakened immune system.
On the positive side, when we learn to manage our anxiety, we can choose to make necessary changes to improve our self-awareness. Anxiety can also be a warning system to potential threats to our well-being.
We have all experienced worry at some times in our life. Worry can take over all our thoughts and keep us from being productive. In addition, worry can cause us to have problems with memory and concentrating. As with other feelings for which we do not find positive coping mechanism worry can lead to physical illnesses including a weakened immune system.
When worry is balanced it can give us the boost needed for problem solving. Worry informs us that something is not right and that there is an issue to be resolved. Worry can also inspire gratitude and encourage being present.
Fear, another powerful emotion that when not addressed can lead to us to becoming insecure, to panic, to withdraw, or to avoid other people or situations. Unresolved fear can lead to sleep problems, chronic pain, a weakened immune system, or even adrenal fatigue.
On the other hand, fear warns us of danger and risks. Fear might also lead to the exploration of spiritual growth.
This emotion can cause us feelings of sorrow, exhaustion, and apathy. Once again if sadness isn’t addressed our appetite can be affected and we eat too much or not enough. Additionally, ongoing sadness can lead to lethargy and increased risk of illness.
On the positive side, sadness can be the stimulus we need to make necessary changes in our life. Exploring the reason for our sadness, learning about ourselves, and identifying things for which we are grateful can all be of benefit to our well-being.
All these emotions drain our energy. Most of us don’t have an abundance of energy. Our busy lives use up what we have, and we tend to search for ways to enhance our energy. One way to increase energy is to halt the drain caused by our unhealthy coping methods.
Of course, there are many more emotions. But let’s not overwhelm ourselves. One way to begin is to set aside a few minutes each day to look after your feelings. This is part of your self-care plan along with adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, and appropriate activity.
Heart-Focused Breathing® is a HeartMath™ Technique that I recommend. This is a technique that can be used no matter where you are, at any time.
Focus your attention in the area of your heart.
Imagine your breath is flowing in and out of your heart or chest area.
Breathe a little slower and deeper than usual.
Suggestion: Inhale for a count of 5
Exhale for a count of 5
Or whatever rhythm is comfortable for you.
Repeat 5-10 times at least once per day.
Another practice is one suggested in the Chopra Newsletter, by Dr. Jamie Rabin.
Select an emotion you want to work on – one that is causing you concern.
Identify how that emotion influences your mind and body.
Honour selected emotion by identifying ways that emotion has been of benefit to you, now or in the past.
Thank the emotion for how it has served you.
Use your breath to release the emotion. Inhale naturally. As you exhale, imagine you are releasing any attachment to that specific emotion. On the next inhalation imagine you are breathing in fresh, clean energy.
Suggestion: Repeat 10 times for best results.
This is a start toward you becoming the best you can be. Self-improvement is an on-going journey toward the life you want.