How to Combat Bad Emotions With Mindfulness

mindfulness

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that has been practiced for centuries but has recently seen a resurgence in popularity owing to cognitive behavioral therapy and modern psychotherapeutic approaches.

What is Mindfulness?

The basic idea is that you’re using meditative practices to become more aware of your own mind and of your own emotions. You’re becoming detached from your body and calming the judgmental part of your brain but at the same time you’re not going to ‘switch off’ those emotions but rather you’re going to ‘observe’ them. The idea is that you’re going to watch your thoughts and take notice of your emotions but in a detached manner so that they can’t harm you.

What are the Benefits?

This practice has two benefits. The first is that it allows you to distance yourself from the kinds of ruminations that can otherwise cause stress, depression, phobias and more. The second is that it allows you to better understand the way your own mind works. And it is this second point that makes it an incredibly powerful tool for combating a large number of emotional troubles.

mindfulness

Turning Towards Emotions

The problem with emotion you see is that it robs us of our rationality. And this becomes especially true if we try to deny it, if we try and suppress it or if we generally don’t treat it the way we should. Most of us when we’re upset will react by trying to ignore it, by pretending that we’re fine – or possibly by being unintentionally completely oblivious to it. As you probably have guessed, none of these approaches is particularly helpful or effective in combating those negative feelings.

For Example:

So let’s say for instance that you’re feeling very stressed, anxious and depressed. Maybe you had an argument with your partner, maybe you had a bad day at work. Maybe you just got out of the wrong side of bed! Either way, you’re now in a position where you feel low and as such you begin to look at everything through very negative glasses. You try and stop being depressed but all you can keep thinking is about what a bad day you’ve had.

  • Or how it’s never going to get any better.
  • And how nobody really gets you.
  • Even how your partner is no good for you.
sleep

Using Mindfulness though and embracing the fact that you’re distressed, you’re able to instead simply turn towards those negative emotions and say ‘yes, I am feeling stressed/anxious/depressed’.And as soon as you do this, you will find that they become much more manageable and that you become much more detached from them. More specifically, you can focus on the fact that your thoughts are a result of your bad emotion (not a reflection on reality as it actually is) and you can remind yourself of the impermanence of that stress.


More Therapy Tools

How House Plants Can Reduce Your Stress

house plants

Want a quick hack that can improve your stress and help your health in a number of other ways? Then just get some plants and put them around your home! Plants in your home have been shown in countless studies to be highly effective for improving mood and general health and there are a number of reasons for this. Read on and we’ll examine why house plants are so useful for stress levels and how you can benefit from them.

The Effect of Plants on Stress

It has been known for a while now that having plants around can improve the mood of an environment. Research has shown, that plants help to combat stress, depression and other negative emotions. In fact, many businesses are encouraged to add plants to their office environments in order to build staff motivation. Studies show that having plants help their staff deal with large workloads and to combat feelings of stress.

So what’s going on?

Well, the effect harkens back to our days in the wild. When we were still evolving, we would have had to seek our vegetation in order to stay alive. In the African savanna, seeing large patches of green would have meant that we had found areas rich in natural resources. Here we would be able to find food, shelter, hydration and nourishment.

As such, it seems that we still have a similar response to seeing plants. Our bodies still respond by engaging our ‘rest and digest’ state via parasympathetic nervous system activation. Our heart rates slow down and we become more relaxed. Even just seeing the color green has been shown to have this effect!

house plants

Other Effects

house plants

There are other benefits of having house plants around too. One is that they can help to improve creativity. This is a byproduct of increased restfulness – and there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that we are at our most creative when we’re more relaxed. This way we lose the ‘tunnel vision’ that comes from stress and focus and instead we’re able to explore different ideas and alternative solutions to problems. Having plants around helps us to get into this state of mind and thus helps us discover more novel and creative solutions to our problems.

Plants can also help to boost our general health by cleaning the air and increasing oxygen. This has again been shown in several studies and it has been suggested that we should keep a few plants around for every family member to improve air quality.


Feel Better Now

Do You Struggle with Anger?

Anger Management

Anger is a normal part of the human emotional experience. However, sometimes how we manage our anger can be destructive. Most people learn how to deal with anger as a normal part of growing up based. Our parents model and teach us these tools. Unfortunately not all people, were modeled or taught healthy anger management tools. Without good emotional regulation tools, anger can become overwhelming.

Own Your Anger

The first important step in managing your emotions, is recognizing that you need some in the first place. This is often the hardest step in anger management recovery. Shame and guilt are negative feelings that are often associated with poor emotion management. It is important not to get caught up in these feelings. Shame can a huge barrier to anger recovery. Accepting personal responsibility and taking steps towards recovery is the best solution to preventing further pain.

Think carefully about your life.

  • Do you often shout at and hurt the ones you love the most?
  • Do your loved ones try to avoid you, maybe leaving the room whenever you enter or going to their bedrooms when you get in from work?
  • Have you had problems at work because you were unable to control your emotions?
  • Have you ever had the police involved in your anger management?

If any of these situations sound familiar, then the chances are that you do have an emotional regulation problem.

Quick And Dirty Tools

There are a number of techniques available which can help you to take control control your frustration. Emotion management can be as simple as acknowledging the problem and mastering some simple emotional regulation techniques. Some of these tools include counting until calm, squeezing ice in your fists and exercise. However, in more severe cases it will be necessary to attend therapy, hire an emotion coach, or attend psycho-educational workshops.

The Next Step Is Yours

Think carefully about your life. Do you often shout at and hurt the ones you love the most? Do your partner and/or children often try to avoid you, maybe leaving the room whenever you enter or going to their bedrooms when you get in from work?  Have you had problems at work, or worse still, with the police, because you allowed your anger to get the better of you?  If any of these situations sound familiar, then the chances are that you do have an anger problem and you need to address it for the sake of you and all those around you.

Anger is a normal part of the human emotional experience. However, sometimes how we manage our anger can be destructive. Most people learn how to deal with anger as a normal part of growing up based. Our parents model and teach us these tools. Unfortunately not all people, were modeled or taught healthy anger management tools. Without good emotional regulation tools, anger can become overwhelming. Angriness may be an issue in your everyday life if you let it be. Not only does it interrupt your work and play, but it may hurt you when you least anticipate it. Anger has an underhanded way of making itself known in the rarest of situations, and most you do not have any control over.