How to Become Friends with our Emotions

What if we could forge a deeper understanding with our emotions? How might we navigate through life with our emotions, rather than trying to be rid of them or avoid them?

I was recently chatting to a dear friend about her yoga practice. She finally realised that her hip problem just wasn’t going away, and it was time to give it some well deserved attention. She came to the conclusion that during her yoga practice she needed to stop striving for that ‘perfect’ yoga position, start listening to what her body needed and in the process leave her ego at the door.

This left me with a very clear, and amusing, image of our dear friend, Mr Ego, being firmly told: ‘Sorry mate, you’ll just have to sit this one out until I’ve finished my class!’  He was definitely a bit sulky, arms crossed with a brooding face.

It took some courage to leave him there, but I also saw how his mood wasn’t permanent, and that he’d get over it! Slowly he’ll get used to being left there. Especially when he realises he’s always collected on the way out.

How powerful then would it be if we really listened to what our emotions have to say, and could reassure them that they’ve been heard?

How about sadness, for example: What if instead of shutting her out, we invited her in for a cuppa when she comes knocking. We could have a good old chat and reach a conclusion that satisfies us both. After all she appears in order to show us something. She has something to say and she wants to be listened to and heard. Who are we to deny her?

Isn’t that what we do when we upset a friend? We don’t (usually) slam the door in their face. We invite them in, we chat, we discuss, we conclude and we move on. If we don’t resolve an argument we could end up festering on it. It might ruin our day and possibly our week, if we refuse to let go of the pain or anger of that experience.

It’s my experience, when I ignore my emotions they get a bit frustrated and tend to just bang louder. They might disappear for a while but when they come back, they bring their mates. Fear, anger, stress……

Perhaps writing allows you connect to that emotion better?
Ask it some questions… 
What does it want?
What does it have to say to you?
What could you do to quieten it?

Remember: start small, and build from there.
Perhaps just notice which emotion knocks the loudest for you… Is it anxiety, frustration, fear or something else?

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