Exercising Emotional Mindfulness

Exercising Emotional Mindfulness

When problems overwhelm us and sadness smothers us, where do we find the will and the courage to continue? Well, the answer may come in the caring voice of a friend, a chance encounter with a book, or from a personal faith. For Janet, help came from her faith, but it also came from a squirrel. Shortly after her divorce, Janet lost her father, then she lost her job. She had mounting money problems. But Janet not only survived, she worked her way out of despondency, and now she says life is good again. How could this happen? She told me that late one autumn day, when she was at her lowest, she watched a squirrel storing up nuts for the winter. One at a time, he would take them to the nest, and she thought, “If that squirrel can take care of himself, with the harsh winter coming on, so can I. Once I broke my problems into small pieces, I was able to carry them, just like those acorns, one at a time.” – quote from Mort Crim, as taken from the song “Little Acorns” by popular rock duo, The White Stripes

As the famous saying goes, life is a roller coaster. Inevitably, our emotions coursing through our lifetime are a pretty intense affair. There are moments of jubilant happiness, and there will be times that are painful and difficult to deal with. The movie Inside Out had succinctly presented the five key emotions – Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. The complex possible combinations could lead our perception of life’s major moments into two different routes: positive emotions and negative emotions. When balanced well, both extremes compliment each other and aid us in our emotional development. Negative emotions are adaptive in nature and facilitate the “fight or flight” response. Positive emotions broaden thought-action repertoires and trigger upward development. Without a doubt, the negative emotions are necessary for us to take stock of life while positive emotions will expand on our personality development. But how do we make sure our emotions don’t spiral south?

This is where emotional mindfulness comes into play. The popularised of the term Emotional Intelligence has advocated the impact of positive emotions. The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso’s model proposes the four major branches to the concept of EQ:

Perceiving emotions
Using emotions to facilitate thinking
Understanding emotions
Managing emotions

It’s been said that through emotional mindfulness, you can turn that frown upside down. It’s all about taking time to pause, reflect, exercise acceptance and manage the tidal waves of thoughts and feelings and turning those negativity into your greatest life lessons and sources of strength.

As you start to embrace positive emotions, you will soon discover that happiness is not an elusive term. It is something that can be learnt, build upon and redistributed to the people around you. We all want to live life and impact the people around in a positive manner. Wouldn’t you?