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!

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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!

Mindfulness Matters Group – Now Enrolling!

If you have ever said…
I can’t focus or think straight
I can’t seem to figure out what I want
Everyone judges me
I’m not good enough

HELP GET CLARITY AND SHOW UP POWERFULLY IN YOUR LIFE!
This 8-week group will provide you with support + give you the skills to…

+ Notice the here and now experiences even when you are overwhelmed and unsettled so that you can participate in the parts of your life that are meaningful
+ Engage in activities even when you’re feeling scared or insecure so that you can lead a fulfilling life and feel happy
+ Stop comparing yourself to others and learn to feel fully comfortable in your own skin
+ Quiet your self-critical voice and learn to love yourself for exactly who you are

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 email drnazari@drsallynazari.com for more information.

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

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!

Break Out of Your “Mental Rut” to Turbocharge Your Life!

Have you caught yourself just whirling through your day, finding yourself at the end of it and just wondering where the hours went? Or maybe you’ve looked up from what you were “busy” with to find yourself puzzled by how it just got done without you even noticing that you were doing it. Sometimes, we find ourselves relieved that we just managed to get yet another item on our to-do list done. Yet, we might often feel like we’re on a fast spinning carousel ride that we can’t get off of. We might find ourselves overwhelmed, frazzled, or even just like we “miss” being a part of our lives. This is where that autopilot mode can take us – a life filled with days that are devoid of our awareness and participation.

In a car, we can sometimes drive for miles “on automatic pilot,” without really being aware of what we are doing. In the same way, we may not be really “present” moment-by-moment, for much of our lives: We can often be “miles away” without know­ing it.

On automatic pilot, we are more likely to have our “buttons pressed.” Events around us and thoughts, feelings, and sensations in the mind (of which we may be only dimly aware) can trigger old habits of thinking that are often unhelpful and may lead to worsening moods. snapping at our loved ones or colleagues, and not really understanding what quite set us off.

By becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings, and body sensations, from moment to moment, we give ourselves the possibility of greater freedom and choice; we do not have to go into the same old “mental ruts” that may have caused problems in the past.

This is where the gift of Mindfulness can bring tremendous benefits – not only to ourselves, but to those around us who are impacted by our experiences. The aim of Mindfulness is to increase awareness so that we can respond to situ­ations with choice rather than react automatically. In other words, we can break the grip of autopilot and its reactions. We do this by practicing to be­come more aware of where our attention is and deliberately changing the focus of attention, over and over again. We do this without berating ourselves so that we can keep moving forward rather than getting pulled back into the same tailspin.

As we prepare for the next round of the Mindfulness Matters group enrolling in just a few short weeks, I wanted to share a short exercise with you for react with more intention and deliberation in our lives so that we can escape the mental ruts and access greater freedom and choice in our day-to-day experiences.

This exercise is designed to easily bring mindfulness into your everyday life so that you don’t have to feel pulled away from the things you love and care about to take care of yourself.

Choose one task each day that you often do in automatic pilot. Things such as brushing your teeth, eating a meal, attending lectures, showering, preparing for bed, walking in the park are suitable. It is probably best to stick with one activity for a week or longer rather than changing the activity regularly.

When the time comes for that activity, do it in a fully mindful frame of mind. Pay attention to the activity itself, noticing with intentional awareness what is happening right now. For instance, with teeth brushing you might feel the touch of the brush on each tooth and the gum, note the noise it is making become aware of the taste of the toothpaste. Just like in the breath awareness, if you find yourself thinking of other things, then simply note it for a second or two and return to the sensations associated with brushing your teeth.

If the activity is likely to be longer than a few minutes – such as eating a full meal or walking in the park – then practice the first three minutes mindfully. Pay attention to what you see, the sounds you hear, the feeling of your clothes as you walk and what can you smell.

As a general aim, stick to the sensations present at the time: touch, sight, sound, taste, smell. You may also note what emotions and bodily feelings you have – like noticing your breathing becomes faster or tension in your muscles.

At the end of the exercise, continue the next activity mindfully for as long as that Mindful state lasts.

What did you discover about yourself as you went through this exercise?? What did it feel like to slow down and really participate in your life to get out of that mental rut?

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 into the New Year!

Please feel free to comment and share what it was like to get yourself back in charge and escape the never-ending mental rut!

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

Don’t forget to get access to more valuable content weekly here!

P.S. Groups are an amazing way for us to lean how to express ourselves and understand that we are not alone. The Mindfulness Matters Group will run on Tuesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm  beginning on February 26th and running through April 16th. Get in touch to talk about how this might help you get yourself back on top!

MORE Tips and Resources to Stay Mindful!

For many of us, the holiday season can be riddled with stressors, frustration, loneliness, or even disappointment. In the midst of that, we might even feel out of line because the holiday season is “supposed” to be filled with cheer and “should” have joy and merriment. This can lead us to feel even more frustrated, alone, and like we’re a bad person for our reactions.

Here’s the thing – even positive experiences and situations can bring with them some difficulty. We may not have influence on the long lines or the traffic jams – but we do have influence on the ways that those things impact us. Learning to navigate disruptions and the tough feelings that leave us feeling frazzled can be a really valuable skill for us so that we can really maximize the joy and connectedness we have throughout this holiday season.

I recently spent some time talking with Deborah Turner of Natural Awakenings and Rockland World Radio’s “Connections with Deborah Turner” to talk about some ways we can navigate our emotions this time of year. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a holiday or you’re feeling stressed juggling work and family life, this time of year can bring with it some challenges. Deborah and I talk through a number of ways to build your tools for more easily busting stress so that you can feel like your best self again.

Be sure to listen to the conversation HERE so that you can get some more tips on how to navigate difficult emotions, bust through the stress and frustration, use Mindfulness to sort through your never-ending to-do list, and even leverage more sleep this holiday season!

I really loved sharing these tips with everyone because I know the pressure that this time of year might bring for many of us can be intense and detract from our experiences. It’s important to me that sharing information about how simple tools like working on our sleep a bit differently or just noticing our breathing and using the cracks of time can bring with them  great gains. That way, we can start to feel more like ourselves and reconnect with the things and the people in our lives that bring us joy.

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 into the New Year!

Please comment below and share what stood out to you as your  favorite tip with me!

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 with 5 Senses

One of the aims of my Mindfulness Matters group is to provide people with accessible, fool proof tools to help them ground in the present moment so that they can eradicate the inner critic, paralyzing self judgments, and gain the sense of empowerment they need to make the best choices about how to react to what pops up in their lives. Today, I wanted to share one of these tools with you. This is a quick and relatively easy exercise to bring us into a mindful state quickly. If you only have a minute or two or, for whatever reason, you don’t have the time or tools to try a body scan, this five senses exercise can help you bring awareness to the current moment in a short amount of time.

Use this exercise to quickly ground yourself in the present when you only have a moment. The goal is to notice something that you are currently experiencing through each of your senses. Begin by making sure you are seated or lying comfortably enough that you can relax, yet still upright enough that you can focus on the following questions. As you go through this set of questions, allow yourself to become immersed in each experience before moving on to the next question.

What are 5 things you can see?

What are 4 things you can feel?

What are 3 things you can hear?

What are 2 things you can smell?

What is 1 thing you can taste?

The numbers for each sense are only a guideline. Feel free to do more or less of each – remember to make modifications with Mindful awareness. You can also listen to a guided audio version of this exercise with my “Beyond the Couch” podcast episode easily. 

I would love to hear how this went for you! Be sure to share with us in our social media communities listed below so we can celebrate with you!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/drsallynazari

Twitter: www.twitter.com/chrysalisdoc

 

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

Get access to more valuable content weekly here!