Have you ever been really upset or angry and reacted and than later regretted your action? Of course you have, we all have. But what if you had just waited for the feeling to pass, to let the wave of emotion come and go, I bet you would have responded very differently.
That is what I would like to talk about here in this article. When we can use mindfulness, which is nonjudgmentally observing what is happening in this moment, we expand our view, our perspective becomes larger and we can witness that thought or that feeling without unconsciously or habitually reacting from it.
Mindfulness is like our super power as it allow us to observe what is occurring without getting swept up in it. This noticing of thoughts and feelings is one way to get outside of it. This does not mean that we won’t feel the unpleasant feelings, we will still feel it, but we will be more aware of it as well as the choice we have. We are now able to act from our values and in a way that is aligned with the kind of person we want to be.
Mindfulness gives us back to ourselves, it allows us to be the person we really are even in the midst of a challenging situation.
So the next time you are experiencing a strong unpleasant emotion take a pause to notice and name it, accept it and allow it. This helps us to create some separation as we are being the witness of it rather than being ravaged by it. Once we have noticed and named the feeling, allowing it the space to be there only makes sense, because it it there. When we resist feeling, the opposite of allowing and accepting, we create another problem on top of the original one, and this is where suffering comes in. Resistance to what is creates suffering.
Allow the temporary experience of unpleasant emotion to come and go like a wave, and hold some compassion for yourself as you are experiencing the feeling. Think of what you would do when you see a loved one or a small child crying, you acknowledge they are suffering and with this acknowledging you are accepting and allowing it to be there. You would probably then offer compassion to that child with kind words and a hug. The child most likely would then feel validated and go back to what they were doing.
So we want to have this same practice with ourselves when we are in pain; notice and name it, allow and accept it, and then hold some compassion for yourself. Then continue on your way, re-engage in your environment feeling lighter and more open and without the heavy weight of this feeling since you just processed it.