When you practice mindfulness in reference to thoughts and emotions, your feelings are not good nor are they bad. Your feelings are just what they are: emotions. This is sometimes called “mind over matter.”
Feelings sometimes get labels added such as happy, confident, joyful, brave, good, or bad. Your emotions can be easy to deal with or they can be difficult. Some feelings might make you feel comfortable or uncomfortable.
Children especially are always being told that they shouldn’t feel this way or that. Even as adults we are told to be positive, don’t feel hurt, don’t feel sad, don’t be scared and on and on which tries to impose upon us that those feelings are bad.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, being happy, we are told to be happy, be brave, move on, get over it, or lighten up.
Observing whatever you are feeling at the moment is Mindfulness Thinking. You are allowed to simply “be” with non-judgmental acceptance and curiosity.
Do you have negative thoughts?
Negative thoughts can have devastating results on your body and mind. Negative thoughts take us out of present moments especially if you are stressed or anxious.
Negative thoughts can come from labeling, catastrophizing and overgeneralizations. Labeling yourself or your situation doesn’t make it any better. Take away labels and see how freeing it can be.
Catastrophizing is experienced by those who struggle with anxiety and who imagine worst-case scenarios as results or outcomes. Overgeneralizing can affect those with low self-esteem. This means that they generally overlook the positive and focus instead on one substandard idea or piece of information.
The idea is to get someone to challenge these thoughts and that is where mindfulness comes into play. By getting someone to pay attention in a certain way, on purpose and in the present moment it will allow them to become more aware of their thoughts without labeling or judging them.
Mindfulness allows us to be still and anchored in the here and now. When we are afforded the opportunity to notice our thoughts more clearly and become aware of the present, we can then begin to challenge them.
In order to become Mindful in your thoughts and emotions, allow yourself to see things as though you were looking at them through a child or animal’s eyes. Most young children and animals are only focused on the present. This allows you to explore the thought or emotion without attaching ourselves to them or pushing them away.
If you practice yoga, try concentrating on some of the harder poses. If you happen to be suffering from anxiety or depression, for instance, try holding a challenging pose and bring attention to the discomfort. Don’t stop but instead embrace it and practice regulated breathing through the post.
If you are in an anxious or depressed state, you feel as if you are always in pain and that the pain will never go away. By holding a challenging pose, it can teach you to accept challenges and to know and trust that the pain will eventually go away.
Try eating mindfully. Sit down and really enjoy the food you are about to eat by feeling the texture, the smell and the flavor of your food. Most people sit in front of a TV and eat their meals. Turn off the TV. Think about the food you are about to eat. Take small bites and really chew the food savoring each bite. Try to do this a few times a week.
Take the time to listen mindfully. Just listen. Do nothing else at that moment. Practice really listening to your partner. No distractions and don’t interrupt. Don’t add your opinion or agree/disagree. By doing this, you can enhance any relationship.
Take the time to get mindfully in touch with your thoughts and emotions. You will be surprised at the difference it makes in your life and the way your mind and body feel.
How We Can Help
Here at Meditation Stepping Stones, our meditation classes assist you with learning to be mindful in your life. You can learn more about our classes below.
Our current classes:
Meditation – Wednesdays at 7 pm Central Time in Virtual Classroom
Mindfulness – Mondays at 11 am Central Time in Virtual Classroom
Meditation – Every other Saturday at 10:30 am in Madison, Wisconsin
For the online classes, be sure to use the link to register for each class session you attend. This helps me to know in advance who is attending. You will receive the link for the conference automatically from the system.
Personal Sessions – The personal sessions will run similarly as well except it will be only you and myself meeting. You will have more time to ask questions, work intimately together on goals, right technique, receive worksheets and other easy assignments to help you grow in your meditation practice.
Awakening to Joy Retreat in March 2018 – Join us for our co-sponsored Awakening to Joy retreat based on James Baraz’ mindfulness book, Awakening Joy.
Access our Meditation Pebbles Podcast for easy five minute practices you can do easily. Also try our longer meditations podcast, Peaceful and Healing Guided Meditations.
If you have further questions, use the contact form here on the website. I’m happy to answer any questions may have.
Be sure to join our Facebook Group too and you can ask questions, share with others and receive support.
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