Unless you were born with the disposition of the Dalai Lama, you’ve undoubtedly experienced negative emotions. Feeling one of the lower emotions (anger, despair, fear, guilt, jealousy) isn’t bad; it’s what makes us human. What’s bad is getting stuck in that negative state of mind and letting the emotion take control.
Our natural state of being is one of peace, love and joy. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, s**t happens! And when it does, the lower emotions come crashing in. The trick is not to deny or stuff the unwanted emotion, but to feel it without acting on it.
The Emotion Shift
Training the mind to switch emotions is easier than you would think. Since they are not part of our natural state, the lower emotions need fuel to survive. The fuel is the story or circumstance that triggered the emotion. Stop replaying it in your head and the negative emotion will naturally dissolve. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit in meditation. Relax and take a few minutes to settle in.
- Focus on the negative emotion you would like to shed. If you must, replay the event that triggered the feeling, but only to stir the emotion.
- Next, drop the scenario and feel the full expression of the emotion. Do not try to make it go away. (You may physically have symptoms: clenched fists, increased heart rate, tears.)
- Say to yourself, “I am feeling (anger, despair, fear, guilt, jealousy) and that’s okay.”
- Be with the emotion and watch it fade. Without the story/fuel it cannot sustain itself.
- Once the intensity of the emotion starts to disappear, bring your attention to a higher emotion of love, peace or joy. Again recall an event where this emotion was strong, if that helps, but let go of the story and simply be with the higher emotion.
- Focus on your breathing and relax. Enjoy your natural state of being.
Don’t let unwanted emotions dictate your day. You are in charge, not the emotion! Rid yourself of unwanted feelings whenever you choose and get back to your natural state of bliss.
Break the cycle of negativity and stay happy! —Karen