Mindfulness meditation has been in the media spotlight for some time now so it is likely that you’ve heard of some of its many benefits. One of the ways in which mindfulness meditation can be supportive is when we are coping with challenging situations and emotions, whether they are big or small – an isolated incident or an ongoing dilemma. When we are confronted with an unexpected situation or unwanted feelings, it is a common human tendency to move away from the discomfort and the uncomfortable feelings. We are likely to distract ourselves when, for example, someone makes a rude comment, criticizes our work, or perhaps when we are facing a difficult life event or circumstance. This desire to move away from the discomfort may make us feel better in the short term, however, by not dealing with what is occurring, there is a likelihood that whatever we are feeling will return, only with more intensity. As time passes, the issues and feelings that are not processed, felt or addressed may continue to resurface.
Mindfulness meditation, along with self-compassion, teaches us to sit with our emotions, however unpleasant, and be compassionate with ourselves. Mindfulness practice helps us to slow things down and be present for each moment as it arises. As we practice, we cultivate patience and acceptance, and we strengthen our capacity to be with what is here in each moment. We are reminded that we can only be with one moment at a time. Little by little, we begin to realize that we have the capacity to move toward and be with difficult situations and emotions instead of moving away from them. This practice of moving toward the difficult and unwanted ultimately helps us to feel a sense of strength and to heal.
If you would like to begin or continue a mindfulness practice, join meditation instructor Alice Lash in one of our group classes or receive personalized instruction in a private session. Sign up here.