Managing emotions mindfully

It is tricky dealing with emotions!

We want things to be sweetness and light – and who wouldn’t?

Mindfulness – or being aware – doesn’t promise that all will be sweet. Shame!

However, being mindful helps us to be more aware of what is happening within us and around us, including with our emotions.

If we can observe more and react just a little less (hard I know!), we can begin to manage our emotions. By recognising them head on, just as they are, we get a head start with dealing with them. Simply avoiding recognising our emotions tends to just keep them simmering rather causing them to go away.

A poet called Rumi wrote this poem called ‘The guest house’ over 800 years ago, wise words still today about being aware of – perhaps even welcoming? – our emotions. It is a wise starting point in managing them.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness
comes as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.

He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

This is Mindful Monday on 9 April 2018. If you live in or near Cheltenham, join us for an evening of mindfulness next Monday 16 April, 7.30-9 pm.

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