10 Steps to Surfing Emotions with Mindfulness
Fri 21 October 2016
Today we are going to have a SURFING LESSON! An important skill in Mindful Relationships is learning how to mindfully surf our emotions! This will allow us to respond to situations and in communications in a more balanced, self-aware way.
And we can learn to surf in 10 simple steps:
1. Recognise that emotions are a fact of life - sometimes we feel happy, sometimes we feel sad (and all the feelings in between)
2. Remember that emotions diminish over time - they come and go and are not a permanent state
3. Acknowledge - throughout the day tune in to how you are feeling, acknowledge to yourself "I feel angry"; "I feel relaxed"; "I feel happy"; "I feel disappointment"
4. Do not judge them - when you bring your awareness to how you are feeling try not to judge it as "good" or "bad". It is what it is
5. Accept - learn to accept how you are feeling in this moment - this does not mean that you do nothing about a challenging situation - but in the moment you feel what you feel
6. Allow - Give the emotion space - I love this quote from one of my teachers "FEELING IS HEALING" - allow yourself to feel what you feel, for a moment allow what is there to be there
7. Notice physical sensations - As you observe and allow the emotion, see if you can get a sense of where you feel it in the body - often we feel emotions along the central nervous system – in the belly, the chest and heart area, the throat or the face. Draw your attention to where you feel the emotion in the body
8. Become curious - a key part of our mindfulness practise is "open curiosity". This does not mean that we are trying to analyse, judge or fix our emotion - rather a gentle exploration. A curious "I wonder where this is coming from?"
9. Be kind - when you are bringing awareness to what you are feeling in the moment, also bring awareness to your thoughts - are they fuelling the emotion from a place of ego or the inner-critic? Or are they supportive, soothing and caring?
10. Be mindful of your thoughts - There is an interplay between our thoughts and emotions that can be destructive for ourselves and our relationships. Becoming aware of this relationship - bringing awareness to those unhelpful thoughts that fuel our emotions, causing us more suffering - is key to our mindfulness practise and also Mindful Relationships.
In this 4 minute youtube video I explain the relationship between our thoughts and emotions and distinguish between a "real" and a "false" emotion.
Throughout today try to regularly check in with yourself - how are you feeling in this moment? Learn to surf!