03 Mar Mindfulness and your emotions
Jared’s emotions often feel overwhelming. Here’s what he thinks:
“I’m so stressed out I can’t think straight.”
“I’m scared of going out.”
“I’m nervous about being seen alone.”
“I’m depressed all the time.”
Emotions are intense during the teen years. That’s literally because of the way the brain is forming. Your brain has an emotional part to it that is on fire right now – how totally unfair is that? Plus, your brain is bathed in hormones that can make you experience more intense emotions and larger mood swings (feel familiar?). But! You do not have to be a slave to your emotions! You can be in control of your thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness actually helps you do this.
This is because mindfulness helps manage the underlying emotional triggers that upset you. Mindfulness helps you to feel more in control. When an emotion happens, mindfulness helps you to become aware of that emotion and then to label it in a way that benefits you rather than sends you into hyperspace. This skill allows you to become more resilient, compassionate and empathic. How great is that? When you build your emotion labeling skills, you gain distance from your emotions and they are less likely to overwhelm you. Hence, you feel better overall.
When you become more mindful, you are slowing down your mind and training it to be more present – to notice what’s happening in the moment and to think before responding. Here’s an example:
Before mindfulness: You’re at a party and a nasty girl who is always trying to cut you down comes over and gives you a death stare. Your mind starts racing and you feel intimidated by her so you run off and start saying all sorts of negative things in your mind that do not make you feel better and likely give her the power.
After mindfulness: Same party. Same girl. Same thing: You notice that your heart starts beating a bit faster but then you think, “My heart is racing because no one likes to be around negative people. But she doesn’t control me. I do.” So you simply stare back, feel how less stressed you are and then realize you find the whole situation stupid so you walk away. You find your friends and move on with the evening.
When you become aware of the emotion rising in your body and label it, then you can control it. You choose how it will affect you. When you choose to not let it affect you, boom! You feel so much better.
Here’s another way you can weave mindfulness into your day.
Do you walk to school? As you walk that same old routine for the millionth time, add some mindfulness to the mix. Walk in a rhythm with your breathing. See how many steps you can take on an inhale, then an exhale. Focus on nothing but the pattern of breathing. When you arrive at school, notice if the walk went by faster and if you were able to keep negative thoughts at bay during your walk. These simple “steps” are hugely beneficial to your mind;-).
As you gain more control over your emotions and as you become more compassionate toward others, you may notice the impact on your social world, which is the focus of the next post.
How mindful of your emotions are you? Do you ever hear yourself labeling what you are feeling in your head?
What's being said
WLKHS2322Posted at 15:22h, 02 March
i am somewhat mindful of my emotions. if the situation with the girl at the party happened to me, i would stand up for myself and not let someone talk me down. but if someone pointed out my insecurites then it would be different, i would get hurt but not show it.
wlkhs2307Posted at 15:18h, 02 March
I’m pretty mindful of my emotions, I kind of know whats going on in “real life” and what’s going on in my head.
wlkhs2303Posted at 15:13h, 02 March
Sometimes when I do something wrong, I would call myself stupid in my head. And sometimes I would say it out loud without even noticing it. So, I would say I’m pretty mindful of my emotions.
wlkhs2321Posted at 15:12h, 02 March
Usually when i feel or show emotions everything just runs wild and i really don’t think much.
wlkhs2202Posted at 17:16h, 28 February
I feel I am pretty mindful of my emotions because I don’t really let negative thoughts or situations affect me. I can understand what I’m feeling and I can figure out how to fix it. Sometimes, though, emotions may overwhelm me and I don’t know why I am feeling a certain way. Usually, If something is bothering me, I kind of use humor to make the situation less serious so I can joke about it.
WLKHS2213Posted at 17:03h, 28 February
I am pretty mindful of my emotions, I always know what I am feeling at any time.
WLKHS2104Posted at 14:56h, 28 February
I am very mindful of my emotions, I constantly label what I feel in my head rather than ignore it.