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How to Deal with Emotions in Being Mode for Mindfulness

Being mode is a better mindful approach to dealing with emotions. Using doing mode in the area of emotions is like using the wrong remote control to change the channel on your television. No matter how hard you push the buttons, the channel isn’t going to change – and pushing the buttons harder just makes you tired and breaks the remote control. You’re using the wrong tool for the job.

Say you’re feeling sad today. Doing mode may feel the emotion and use the problem-solving, goal-oriented mind to try to fight it, asking, ‘Why am I sad? How can I escape from it? What shall I do now? Why does this always happen to me?’ Doing mode sets thoughts spinning in your head, which just makes you feel worse.

Next time you have an uncomfortable feeling like sadness, anger, frustration or jealousy, try this exercise to get into being mode:

  1. Set your intention.

    Let your intention be to feel the emotion and its effects as best you can with a gentle curiosity. You’re not doing so as a clever way to get rid of it. You’re just giving yourself space to learn from the emotion rather than running away.

  2. Feel the emotion.

    Feel the emotion with care, kindness and acceptance, as best you can. Open up to it. Notice where the emotion manifests itself in your body. Breathe into that part of your body and stay with it. Allow the emotion to be as it is. You don’t need to fight or run away. Be with the experience.

  3. De-center from the emotion.

    Notice that you can be aware of the emotion, without being the emotion itself – create a space between you and the feeling. This is an important aspect of mindfulness. As you observe the feeling, you’re separate from it in the sense that you’re free from it. You’re watching it.

    It’s like sitting on a riverbank as the water rushes by rather than being in the river itself. As you watch the water (emotion) pass by, you’re not in the river itself. Every now and then, you may feel like you’ve been sucked into the river and washed downstream. As soon as you feel this, simply step back out of the river again.

  4. Breathe. Now simply feel your breath.

    Be with each in-breath and each out-breath. Notice how each breath is unique, different and vital for your health and wellbeing. Then continue with whatever you need to do in a mindful way.

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