Mindfulness meditation can help us in so many ways, including feeling more grounded, calm, and aware. However, our practice is most beneficial during challenging moments when we can apply the skills we’ve developed during our formal meditation practice. Two techniques that are incredibly helpful include pausing and breathing, and sitting with uncomfortable feelings.
Pause and breathe. If you find yourself in a conversation that has turned to a conflict or other heated situation, pause and take a conscious breath before responding. If we respond automatically we generally tend to react in a habitual manner, which is not always helpful. For example, if you are in an argument with your partner, rather than shouting whatever comes to mind, pause and take a breath or two. Even though this only takes a moment, by engaging in this practice we stop giving momentum to the heightened emotion we are feeling and give ourselves an opportunity to respond in a way that may be more helpful. Pausing and breathing when we are feeling elevated helps us to feel better about ourselves and often allows us to respond from a place of love and compassion.
Sit with uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings. While this may seem like an odd tip, sitting with uncomfortable feelings helps us immensely because once we have taken the time to really feel our emotions, we can accept them for what they are and allow the emotions to begin to dissolve. When we push unpleasant feelings away by distracting ourselves, they tend to return again and again. Mindfulness meditation helps us to sit with and accept whatever is happening in the present moment, without judgment, which includes the difficult emotions we sometimes face such as loneliness, anger, or hurt. When we remain with these feelings, we realize that they are not permanent, and this helps us to move on. Sitting with unpleasant feelings is a practice and a process, which is cultivated over time.
Learn more about mindfulness meditation and begin or cultivate your practice with a private session at Mindfultime.