Take Hold of Your Overwhelming Emotions!

Sometimes, we have intense emotions that are difficult to manage, such as anger, shame, depression, or anxiety. Difficulties controlling these emotions often lead to problematic behaviors that affect us and those around us. Problematic behaviors are often ineffective solutions to intensely painful emotions. We then find ourselves in a never-ending cycle of feeling overwhelmed by intense emotions and wanting to shut our feelings out completely.

Instead of this turbulent, emotional merry-go-round, we CAN learn to tame our emotions and take hold of them so that we can keep showing up fully in our lives and connect with the people and experiences that matter to us.

“Emotions” isn’t a dirty word – in fact, emotions offer us a lot of valuable information. Emotions provide us with a signal that something is happening so we can check out the facts. It’s a problem when we treat emotions as if THEY are the facts about the world. For example: “If I am afraid, there must be a threat,” or “I love him, so he must be good for me.” We need to be mindful that emotions are not facts. Therefore, it is important to check the facts about the situation – and our Mindful awareness of our emotions give us the signal to go ahead and check on the facts.

They also motivate and prepare us for action. The action urge connected to specific emotions is often “hardwired.” For example, when we hear a loud horn beep suddenly, we startle. Emotions save time in getting us to act in important situations. Our nervous system activates us (e.g., we instantly jump out of the way of an oncoming car). We don’t have to think everything through. Strong emotions can help us overcome obstacles— in our mind and in the environment.

Yet, sometimes, we take action without working through the facts and it doesn’t always turn out in our favor.

One of the favored topics in the Mindfulness Matters group focuses on learning to understand the emotions we experience so that we can identify, observe, and describe our emotions in order to know what they do for us. That way, we can uncover whether they are working for us or hindering us from getting what we want in this moment.

We go on to discover ways to reduce our emotional vulnerability to and stopping unwanted emotions in the beginning stages so we can let go of painful emotions when they start and increase positive emotions! This way, we can reduce our emotional suffering.

P.S. We go through these skills in more depth through a 8 session group in Mindfulness Matters!

Space is limited to ensure that everyone in the group feels heard and has a meaningful experience.

Register for a screening here: http://www.subscribepage.com/mindfulnessmattersgroup

I will be CLOSING the cart on registrations in just 10 days on February 16th so be sure to claim your seat!

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Comment below and tell me how you took hold of your overwhelming emotions!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

STOP Reacting and Start Responding Powerfully

Mindfulness is a way of restraining yourself to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life. It is a way of reasserting control of your mental and emotional life, by helping you reconnect to the present moment, rather than the pain of the past or anxiety about the future. Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives.  It is not necessarily a method of getting rid of life’s pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner that benefits our heart, head, and body.

Mindfulness techniques focus on awareness of thoughts and feelings without attachment or judgment. When we are having intense emotions, it is often because we are caught up in our catastrophic interpretations about what is going on. The more we become entangled in the thoughts about the situation, the worse it feels, and the more intense our emotions become. Mindfulness short-circuits this process by helping us to disentangle ourselves from our distorted thought patterns and connect to the actual situation. This enables us to more skillfully address the difficult situation, and to do so with less emotional reactivity and psychological suffering.

You’ll probably find engaging in a formal daily Mindfulness practice has real benefits in reducing the stress and anxiety you feel throughout the day. There is significant research showing this is usually the case. However, there are more effective ways you can engage in mindfulness to positively shape your day to an even greater degree than formal sitting practice. One skill I often teach members of my Mindfulness Matters group is the mindfulness practice of STOP.

STOP is primarily used to introduce mindful experience throughout your day, when you need it most. Even after a good mindfulness meditation in the morning, it’s easy to quickly get caught up in all of the stresses and activities of daily life. By applying mindfulness to these experience during your day, your mind will be on autopilot less, and you will be able to check in with how you are feeling, what you are thinking, and what behavior you’re engaging in.

STOP is an acronym that stands for:

S: Stop. Whatever you’re doing, just pause momentarily.
T: Take a breath. Re-connect with your breath. The breath is an anchor to the present moment.
O: Observe. Notice what is happening. What is happening inside you, and outside of you? Where has your mind gone? What do you feel? What are you doing?
P: Proceed. Continue doing what you were doing. Or don’t: Use the information gained during this check-in to change course. Whatever you do, do it mindfully.

By occasionally reminding yourself to stop during your day, you can increase your awareness of what is going on around you and inside you. You may stop and notice you are engaging in a lot of negative self-judgments. Using STOP may help you recognize when your body is becoming tense, and allow you to correct it before you are in pain. You might find that you’re hungry, or that a break might be helpful. The more you STOP during the day, the more you re-engage with reality, and disengage from the habitual busyness of your mind.

Don’t forget: I share this skill in more depth through the 8 session Mindfulness Matters group!

Space is limited to ensure that everyone in the group feels heard and has a meaningful experience.

Register for a screening here:

http://www.subscribepage.com/mindfulnessmattersgroup

Keep in mind that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the life you want to celebrate!

Comment and tell me how you STOPped reacting and started responding powerfully in your life again!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

Mindfulness – Why Bother?

Have you felt as though your mind is controlling you rather than you controlling your mind? Perhaps you’ve felt like you have no control over your attention. Maybe you have even noticed that, while you are trying to focus on doing one thing, other things seem to intrude into your mind. For example, you might find yourself texting someone while you’re talking to someone else and have no idea what’s said in either conversation. Or maybe as you’re listening to a loved one tell a story your mind might be driving to what you’re planning to do later in the day or how distracted you are by the heat in the room. You might even find yourself blurting things out at work or yell at someone and not realize that you were going to do that beforehand – as if it just happened automatically without your realizing it. And perhaps you find yourself simply just saying and doing other things and not aware of what you’re doing.

When these things happen, it can feel as if we are living our lives with our eyes closed.

Being Mindful is living with our eyes wide open through our experiences. It is being aware of things that you are experiencing with each of our senses in the present moment rather than getting pulled into the future or the past. It is taking hold of our mind and controlling it rather than it being in control of us.

The full awareness practiced in Mindfulness allows us to be aware of our present moment – including the thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations – without judgment and without trying to change those experiences. This brings with it a focused, open mind, and greater attentional control. Consider what happens when our mind is jumping from one thought, observation, or reaction to another over and over again. It can be difficult to connect with the people and things we value in our lives.

Being Mindful can…

+Give us more choices and more control over the things we do in our lives.

+Reduce our suffering and increase our sense of joy, happiness, freedom, and pleasure.

+Help us make important decisions.

+Help us focus our attention so that we can be more effective and productive.

+Increase our compassion – for both ourselves and for others.

+Lessen our pain, tension, and stress.

One thing that can really help us gain these benefits in full so that we can go on to live a fulfilled life that we want to celebrate is to make sure that we can develop our Mindfulness skills and habits. If someone is training to run a marathon, learn to play a new piece or music, or learn a new sport, it takes practice to feel capable. The same is true for Mindfulness skills. Just like any other skill in life, we need to practice our skills to become more proficient in them. This is why the Mindfulness Matters group practices start with small exercises and build up your muscles and stamina over time. We also get the benefit of going through the practices with others who are in the same boat so that we can support and encourage each other as we grow and learn together!

Enrollment has officially opened and I very excited to talk more with you about how this group can help you get your goals supercharged so that you can be on your way to the life that you want to celebrate!

Space is limited to ensure that everyone in the group feels heard and has a meaningful experience.
**only 5 spaces remain**

Register for a screening here: http://www.subscribepage.com/c6q6s5

Or contact me for more information.

Don’t forget that I post tips, tricks, information, and even more resources on my Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube pages – along with a Mindful Monday mini-series on the “Beyond the Couch” podcast so that you have an overflowing supply of tools to get you feeling like your best self in the New Year!

Please comment and share what you hope Mindfulness will bring you! Mindfulness, even in small increments, really does matter!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

Know Your Superpower!

One of the benefits of the Mindfulness Matters group is to help us get a better sense of our moment to moment experiences. The thing is, I am sometimes asked why this matters.

For many of us, we find ourselves going through our day on autopilot. The downside of that is that, when we are not connecting with our experiences, things seem to pop up out of nowhere… and then we are left in a panic, reactive, or even frozen.

Becoming more Mindful in our routine, day-to-day interactions and mundane activities can help us develop a cumulative buffer against feeling like we are always caught off guard. In fact, it can leave us better equipped to more easily surf and navigate the things that do seem to come out of nowhere for us.

In the short video below, Sharon Salzberg does a very nice job of illustrating this concept in describing the two wolves (metaphorically!) that we all deal with. In fact, having this skill gives us a bit of a superpower in the sense that it can leave us feeling empowered and acting from a place of empowerment rather than reactivity when we are met with difficult situations.

I would love to hear how what you thought of this story! Be sure to share with us in our social media communities listed below so we can celebrate your superpower with you!

Curious what I can offer you to help build the life you love? Get in touch!

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!