Week of February 10th-14th

Mindfulness

What?

  • Mindfulness is a tool that can help you learn to deal with emotions in a healthy way.

Why?

  • Mindfulness is just one way that can help most people have healthier emotions. However, if you are experiencing serious depression or anxiety problems it’s very important to seek professional care. A professional has access to many different tools and can help you find what works best for you.
  • Although some emotions are painful, both pleasant and unpleasant emotions are healthy and necessary.
  • Avoiding painful emotions can actually make the painful emotions persist even longer. By accepting emotions and feeling them, they are more likely to leave on their own.
  • Mindfulness is a practice that can help you accept emotions and prevent them from spiraling out of control.

How?

  • The first part of mindfulness is learning to accept all emotions with compassion, even unpleasant ones.
  • You can control your actions, but often you can’t control how you feel. Trying to always control how you feel can weigh you down.
  • It’s important to recognize how your body and mind respond to different emotions, but it takes special effort to do this.
  • We often attach unhealthy judgments to our feelings. Some of these include harsh judgments about ourselves. This can lead to emotions staying longer than is healthy.
  • To practice accepting emotions and letting go of judgments, it’s important to remind yourself that:
    • It’s okay to feel whatever emotion you are feeling.
    • Emotions will pass more quickly if you allow yourself to feel it, rather than push it away.
    • Strong emotions cloud your judgment and can distort reality. Many harsh labels you give yourself may feel very real until the emotion passes.
    • Because emotions cloud your judgment, it’s best to wait until the emotion has eased or passed before you make any decisions.

CHALLENGE

This week try to pay very close attention to how your body is feeling when you have certain emotions. Try to recognize your thoughts and judgments attached to those thoughts. Practice letting yourself feel whatever emotion you have and letting go of judgments attached to them.

Does it take a burden off you? Does the emotion leave sooner?

NEXT WEEK

In the next lesson we’ll learn some mindfulness techniques you can use daily to help you be aware and to live more in the present, rather than living all in your head.