How to Regulate Your Emotions with Mindfulness
Life has been beyond challenging for most of us the last couple of years as we’ve dealt with a global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns. And just when we thought we were out of the woods and could start healing from the collective trauma of the last few years, we find ourselves facing sky-high inflation, a recession, and increasing political and social tensions. Needless to say, these events can elicit some pretty strong emotions.
We never want to fully suppress or ignore our emotions. Feeling them is how we process the events & experiences of our lives. But there comes the point where we need to figure out a way to move through the emotions and get safely to the other side. One of the most effective ways to do this is through mindfulness.
What is Mindfulness & How Can It Help?
Mindfulness is a simple, non-judgmental awareness of the present moment. It is a powerful way to connect with our bodies and emotions, but in a different state of awareness.
Mindfulness helps us regulate our emotions by first entering into an compassionate observer state of mind. From here, we observe our internal experience rather than getting caught up in them. This allows us to use our emotions as information about our environment, our experience, and find potential paths forward.
When practiced regularly, mindfulness can help us develop skills that promote emotional attunement and self-regulation. These skills include self-awareness and attentional control. Keep in mind that studies show that regular practice can be as little as 90 seconds per day to create these effects.
Finally, mindfulness can increase the time between input and output or trigger and response. In this way, mindfulness acts a bit like a slow-motion button, giving us time to notice our emotional experience and creating the opportunity to respond intentionally rather than reactively.
Getting Started with Mindfulness
There are many online resources for getting started with a mindfulness meditation practice. Spend some time searching Google and exploring YouTube for some helpful sites and videos. You might also check out apps like Calm, Headspace or Insight Timer for guided mindfulness practices of varying intensity.
If you are not someone who enjoys turning inwards in stillness & quiet or you simply have no extra time in your day to add another to-do on to your list, check out my recent blog post here for ways to practice mindfulness in more practical and accessible ways.
If you are interested in working privately with someone on regulating your emotions and increasing your mind-body connection, please reach out to me. I use mindfulness in my practice with clients and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.