Negative emotions like anxiety, stress, anger, irritability, and the likes, are typically feelings you just want to disappear, and it’s not uncommon. It’s, indeed, a difficult feat to sit with uncomfortable emotions and feeling like there’s no way out. Luckily, instead of “drowning” them out with Netflix, overload of work, junk foods, and exercise, there are simple but effective mindfulness activities that help us deal with these negative emotions rather than denying them (and making them more intense!).
Here are nine activities you can try today:
Deep breathing exercises
Your quality of breathing tells a lot about where your headspace is at. If you’re feeling a bit anxious, chances are, your breathing will feel short, shallow, or constrained. Relieve your stress by practicing deep breathing through your diaphragm– take long, deep breaths when feeling cluttered, distracted, or ungrounded until your nervous system gets to a state of relaxation and your attention draws to the present moment. Feel intimacy with your body, earth, and natural spaciousness inherent in each moment.
Before beginning your usual grind, take a few moments to center your whole being, rewarding yourself a little time in the morning to set intentions to help you start the day with a clear mind. It can include journaling, movement, reading, or meditation. Be flexible and do what feels best. If you find that you are more of a night owl than an early bird, forming a morning practice can feel difficult. In that case, find time in the afternoon or the evening to settle your mind. All you need is ten minutes.
Light your preferred candle and sit comfortably, watching the flames sway and flicker. Doing a candle study session is a simple form of meditation wherein you gaze at a candle for five to ten minutes, letting your mind wander. Observe your thoughts and let them pass without any judgment.
If you’re a big fan of tea, why not try to drink it a little bit slower every day? Draw your attention to the sensations, smells, and sounds you observe from the moment your start brewing to the time when that delicious cup of tea reaches your lips. Invite yourself to notice how it feels to make the tea, the color of the tea leaves, the sound of the kettle, the shape of the mug, the scent that arises, what the tea tastes like, and how it feels in the body as you make and drink the tea. Coffee lovers may also perform this practice in the same manner.
The Food Challenge
Mealtime for most people means scarfing down food while watching TV, scrolling through their mobile phones, or working on their laptops. And since the attention is shifted away from the food, some tend to eat too fast, increasing the risk of overeating, indigestion, bloating, and gas, equating to crankiness and irritability. Put yourself up to the challenge by eating any food as slow as possible! Begin by aiming for 30 seconds to a minute and notice the taste, the texture, and any scent. Doing this food challenge on a daily will help you slow down when you’re eating a meal.
Start a habit of writing five to ten things that you’re grateful for after waking up in the morning or before you go to bed a night. Gratitude lists are the quickest way to ground yourself in difficult times because they help you focus on the more positive aspects of your life. Make sure to be specific in the things that you’re grateful for, and feel your mood and perspective instantly lighten!
Some people who find the word “meditation” intimidating may want to think about practicing stillness instead. Stillness can be as simple as focusing on your breathing, a mantra, or an image. Do this for five minutes, 20 minutes, or however long you choose to be still, and practice the single-pointed concentration technique to invite your mind to settle while taking note of your inner dialogue.
Don’t worry if you cannot keep your focus the whole time– every time the mind wanders off, take notice of the activity and gently redirect the attention back toward the primary object.
Take a few minutes to silently observe your mental state and all the emotions that exist for you at the moment, and take note of which thoughts are predominant. When you do this introspection exercise with skill and proper guidance, it can strengthen your knowledge about yourself. Develop a stronger curiosity about yourself and ongoing mental experience without falling into rumination.
Start a morning journal by scribbling anything that comes to mind after you wake up. It doesn’t have to be creative or beautiful, mind-blowing, or make sense. It’s a stream-of-consciousness exercise meant to clear your mind. Let it flow– do your morning scribbles regularly and help yourself release and process what’s happening mentally.
Social Media Post:
It’s almost close to impossible🙅♀️ to sit with uncomfortable emotions like anxiety😓, stress🥴, anger😡, and feeling like there’s no way out.🚫
Deal with these negative emotions💔 rather than denying them (and making them more intense!) by doing these 9⃣ effective mindfulness activities!🥰
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