Many of us shy away from strong emotions. But facing and understanding the things that trouble us — including the emotions inside — can free us from habitual pain and turmoil.
- Taking the trouble to label the emotion you are feeling can help you to trace the feeling to its source: past, present, or (imagined) future.
- As you label your emotions, also rate them on a scale of 1-10. How deeply are you feeling the emotion? How urgent is it, or how strong? Does that make you choose a different set of words?
- People who write about emotionally charged episodes experience a marked increase in their physical and mental well-being.
Emotional Calibration: Sentic Cycles
A proactive way of dealing with our emotions is to regularly “take them out for a walk.” By bringing them out into the open and exercising them, we keep our emotions toned and “calibrated,” so they will be less likely to explode out of control. One popular method of “walking the emotions” is Sentic Cycles.
Your body will become very quiet. Yet you will experience various bodily sensations: heaviness with grief, lightness with joy, a sense of flow with love. In anger and hate you may sense muscular tensions in the abdomen, perhaps some clenching of the teeth and sometimes a sensation of your limbs tending to fly apart. In addition, you may experience physiological changes in your body-some sexual excitement during sex, possibly some tears and crying during grief. You may experience changes in your heart rate (although these may not be noticed) and, of course, changes in your breathing.
You will know when you are expressing a particular quality correctly from the way it feels to you. For each expression you can be aware how that expression felt. You will gradually become more familiar with many subtle qualities of each emotion, in a self-refining process.
… Shortly after doing Sentic Cycles you will probably experience a marked sense of calmness and peace. If not shattered by immediately succeeding, traumatic events, this feeling should last several hours. You will be relieved of anxiety and nervousness.
In this calm, filled with energy, you will have a different perspective on your goals and desires, and be less anxious about their fulfillment. In the words of a nurse who has done Sentic Cycles for several years, you may also have “awareness that I have energy to do any tasks I may want to do”. __ Sentic Cycles
Another way of “minding our emotions” is through mindfulness. When experiencing mindfulness we accept the image, thought, or feeling that comes, and allow it to be. Example: Mindful Breathing Guided Meditation
Once a person has experienced guided relaxation/meditation exercises sufficiently, he can take a more freeform approach to mindfulness, which can be utilised at virtually any time during the day or night.
A quick method for dealing with acute episodes of stress is the “box breathing” exercise — which can be done at almost any time wherever you are.
- Empty all the breath from your lungs then hold for four seconds
- Inhale for four seconds
- Hold the inhale for four seconds
- Exhale for four seconds, hold and repeat
US Navy Seals are said to train with this exercise to keep their cool during training, combat, and other stressful activities.
Opening Up to Emotions
If we can learn to accept all of our emotions as parts of ourselves, we are far less likely to be tripped and snared by them, unawares. $Multi-billion industries exist across the economic and political sectors which rely upon emotional manipulation of consumers and voters to bring in profits for the masters of the puppet-masters. People who have become well-acquainted and comfortable with their emotions will be better able to maintain their own life plans and equilibrium throughout the storms of propaganda, advertisements, and other appeals to their emotions.
And just as the person who confronts the fears of his nightmares — both waking and sleeping — the person who understands and accepts his emotions will not need to run away.