Do your feelings and emotions rule you?
If you’re like me or if…you’re human, then you’ve probably experienced anger, sadness, jealousy (or envy?), or emotional exhaustion. And, if you’re like me, you’re happy and grateful when those emotional states and feelings go away, right?!
What do you do when you experience strong emotions? How do you deal with difficult feelings that just won’t go away? What do you do when these experiences persist even when you try to push them away?
How do you deal with feelings and emotions?
There are plenty of ways to deal with anger, sadness, jealousy, fatigue, and feelings that bother you.
One way is to pretend that they don’t exist, right? Doesn’t work does it…? Kind of like trying to ignore an “800-pound-gorilla” in the middle of your bedroom.
Similar to trying to ignore feelings or emotions is trying to push them out of your mind. Like, if you’re really angry at someone and you try to push the anger away, what happens? Generally, the feelings or emotions either hide temporarily, only to ambush you when they get a chance, or they become stronger. So, trying to push strong feelings or emotions away doesn’t work.
Another way to deal with unpleasant things like anger or jealousy is to “go for it!” That’s right, get angry, be really sad, feel jealous, give into your exhaustion. Feels really great doesn’t it?…..NO!
Giving in to your emotions and your feelings doesn’t help you to relieve yourself of the negative effects of these phenomena, it just perpetuates them, giving them permission to come back again and again, allowing them to…rule your life!
Sure I know, there’s a real physical “excitement” about getting really angry when you feel that you’ve been wronged. I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I’ve had an “anger fest,” or have fallen in love with my lust and jealousy. And sometimes it’s felt like I needed to experience my anger in a “big” way. But it never really helped me to deal with my anger, it just allowed it to rear its ugly head and then slink back into its cave…until the next time.
There’s something physiologically “addicting” to experiencing strong emotions and feelings like anger and jealousy, they really get the body pumped up. But is that really how you want to experience life? When I think of living life like that, I imagine the character, “The Hulk,” from the Marvel Comics series; never sure when you’re going to burst out of your skin and become a green monster!!
Do you really want to continue to feel anger, jealousy, sadness…etc? Do you really want to be the “hulk?” Besides, there’s lots of research showing us that strong emotions like anger and jealousy can even ruin our health.
There’s a way to move beyond your strong emotions and feelings.
The first thing that you have to do is to realize that there’s another way of being in life. There’s another way to live besides being controlled and dragged around by your emotions and feelings.That’s really good news for most of us since we all fall prey to strong emotions and can become controlled by our feelings.
I’ve written about how to work with different obstacles in life in the FREE ebooks, How to Work with the Four Distractions to Meditation, and, Can Meditation Change the Way You View Your World? If you haven’t downloaded these great resources…do so now! They’re totally free and are packed with great content.
What we do when we move beyond being controlled by our feelings and emotions is to let go of our habit of focusing on the whatever it is that’s arising, a habit that only perpetuates the emotions or difficult things that you’re dealing with. And how we change our habits is through the practice of meditation.
Meditation helps you to deal with anything that happens (or can happen) in your life.
Meditation doesn’t stop difficult things from happening in our lives. In fact, sometimes when you meditate it makes you even more aware of things that are going on because it makes you…more aware! But, meditation can help you to deal with the difficulties in your life in a way that doesn’t keep you hooked into the feelings and emotions that can prevent you from dealing with such difficulties.
When we learn to meditate, we learn to take our feelings and emotions less seriously. We learn that what we’re experiencing, whether it’s anger or envy, eventually will go away and be replaced by something else, sadness, joy, peace, bliss…whatever. That’s because meditation is about learning to be present with your mind, in moment-to-moment awareness. And in that awareness, you realize that feelings and emotions are impermanent. How do I know this? Easy…
- I can remember – literally – thousands of times when I was happy, sad, angry, tired, jealous, or fatigued. Yet, here I am today, feeling something completely different. If these feelings and emotions were real, wouldn’t they stick around a bit. If they were permanent, wouldn’t they still be here? It’s amazing how we take these phenomena to be so real, so…substantial. And yet, really, they only last for a certain amount of time, and then they’re gone.
- When I practice meditation, I’m able to watch my mind as hundreds (if not thousands!!) of thoughts, feelings, and emotions pass through it, like clouds passing through the sky. This teaches me that everything arises and then, given enough time and space, passes out of my mind as easily as it came into it. This works for you too!
Meditation helps you to realize that even your feelings and emotions are impermanent.
Meditation helps you to take your feelings and emotions less seriously because it allows you to see how fleeting they are. When you’re meditating, when you can gain some stability in your practice, meditation also helps you to be less distracted. And when you’re less distracted, you’re less likely to get distracted by your feelings and emotions.
Oh, did I mention that learning to meditate takes time? And that to get to a place where you’ll be completely at ease with your feelings and emotions also may take time? Yah, that’s right. But look at it this way, wouldn’t you rather start learning how to deal with these things now, so that a year from now you won’t be saying to yourself, “Gee, I wish that my anger didn’t get the best of me again!”
Learning to meditate starts with you now, today. Don’t hesitate. You owe it to yourself.
There’s never a better time to get started than right now, and the way to get started it to use the content that’s available here, now, on this site. There’s lots of it! Check out the tabs at the top of this page, “Meditation,” “Compassion,” and “Meditation Tips,” and read the posts. Subscribe to this site’s posts and newsletters for ongoing content. Download the FREE ebooks and start reading. You can even buy the book, Minding the Bedside: Nursing from the Heart of the Awakened Mind (not just for nurses) if you’d like to go in-depth into how to learn and practice meditation.
There’s a funny expression that goes, “Don’t just do something, stand there!” That’s what we do sometimes, we become so overwhelmed with our feelings and emotions, that we sit in the midst of them, like a deer-in-the-headlights, waiting to get run over by whatever hits us. You don’t have to do that anymore. You can make a change in your life, for the better. Learn to meditate. Begin now. Take back your peace of mind. Take back your inner happiness.
Again, I encourage you to look through the HUNDREDS of articles that I’ve written and especially check out my weekly meditation tips and other useful meditation materials provided for your health and well being. Please let me know if you’d like to discuss anything with me, have any questions or need clarification regarding how to enhance your life, the lives of your loved ones or want to learn compassion and meditation practice.