mindfulness Archives - Meg Sylvester

4 Steps to Processing Negative Emotions so You Can Get On With Your Life

In such a fast paced world, numbing our feelings has gotten to be so easy. What with social media, fast food, netflix, and a bar around every corner, it’s gotten so easy for us to numb whatever we are feeling. This isn’t healthy. Numbing our emotions only brings them back to us. If we keep numbing, we can’t get to the root of why we are feeling a certain way…which is a sure fire sign that the emotion or the situation that causes the emotion will just keep coming back. Rather than numb, we can process. Click the link below to check out my 4 steps to processing and getting over negative emotions. 

  1. Feel the Feelings: This can be the hardest part, because this is where the numbing usually wants to come and have it’s fun. When you feel an emotion coming on, sit with it. Don’t intellectualize it by trying to put a name to it. Just feel it. Where do you feel it in your body? What does it feel like? Sit with this feeling for about 2 minutes. Take a deep breath, then…
  2.  Write it Out: Grab a pen and paper, or flip your journal open to a fresh page and just write it out. When you are writing really try to get at the root of the emotion. With every statement you declare, follow it with a why? Write out your answer to WHY you feel that way. Keep going down, down, down until you feel you’ve reached the root. And don’t worry, this takes practice. You may not reach the root the first few times. But honor yourself by allowing for this practice to grow.
  3. Read and Process: Give yourself some time to read through what you wrote. Go back through, read slowly and then surrender it. Ask yourself: Am I willing to see this in a different way? You don’t have to find that different way right now…just commit to being willing. The new way to perceive may come to you in a few minutes, an hour, or a few days. But just know that you have committed to a willingness to see whatever has set you off in a new light.
  4. Say Goodbye: Take the piece of paper and dispose of it safely in one of two ways. Either burn it or flush it. There’s something very cathartic about watching a piece of paper with what were once such strong emotions just burn away. ( for safety: Do this over the kitchen or bathroom sink please!!) Once you’ve disposed of the writing, take a few deep breaths, smile, and get on with your day.

I’d love to hear from you. Have you tried this? Let me know what you think and what shifts you’ve experienced since trying it out!

 

Stop Restless Thoughts with this Practice

Do you get carried away with restless thoughts? Distracted by rabbit holes – chasing a thought down, down, down until you are so caught up in it you can’t get out? Or maybe you’re easily susceptible to impulse buys (yeah…I’m still a work in progress on this one). The thing is, we do not have to be slaves to our restless thoughts. By shifting from the slave to the observer you can start selecting the thoughts  you want to roll with and filtering out those that simply do not serve you. You start creating a world the feels right to you – rather than a world that’s spinning all around you, or a world that you are just skimming through.

I have a beautiful practice to help you attune to the observer role and break free from the impulsive, repetitive or restless thoughts. You can use it at any moment…during a meditation, out shopping, while eating, during or after a conversation…

The Practice:

If you are able to close your eyes, do so. If not, no biggie…just try to “feel” the visual.

Begin to take long, purposeful breaths. Inhale through the nose and exhale deeply through the mouth (if you’re in front of someone, exhaling through the nose is perfectly ok)

Begin by asking yourself “Does this really matter?”

Let that sink in for a few moments. …Does this REALLY matter??

While inhaling, envision a ball of energy forming and growing smaller and more concentrated the deeper your inhale gets.

On the exhale, imagine that ball turning into an animal that can fly (I like to use a butterfly, but a bird could work perfectly). As you exhale through your mouth visualize the animal gently flying away.

Keep repeating the process.

If you need an extra layer of support…if your thoughts are really going and the mind is extra chatty. Incorporate the word “Here” as you inhale. and “Now” as you exhale.

Now, I know when you read this, it seems like a lot to do. But go ahead and give it a try. It’s a beautiful, relaxing strategy that puts your thoughts into perspective. If you give yourself enough time to go through the breathing, by the time you open your eyes…you should know if “it really matters”.

Gently become the observer of your thoughts. Witness them rolling through like waves on an ocean. Decide which ones to jump over and which one you want to ride. YOU decide. The thoughts don’t.

 

Sat Nam