With increased pressures of daily life, most people are feeling all kinds of emotions.
If you’re just married, have little ones at home, or have had a job change, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s a new season of life and with that comes new emotions.
While it can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be with one secret little tool I have to share with you today: mindfulness.
Being mindful of your emotions is everything.
Mindfulness leads to increasing your emotional intelligence, which is a game changer.
Why, you might ask, is emotional intelligence oh so very important? Because it will help improve your ability to overcome difficult emotions, like fear, anger, confusion, loneliness, sadness, etc. in any situation.
And as you know… your emotions drive your actions.
So, let’s say you want to create an amazing marriage. If you don’t have emotional intelligence, this task will be impossible. You’ll take action without getting results.
Instead, the best way to get any result you want in your life, is to start with changing your thoughts and feelings. And the way you start to do that is by becoming aware of what you’re feeling.
- Processing Negative Emotions (podcast)
- How To Process Emotions And Feel Better (blog post)
- Overcoming Self Doubt (free course)
How To Be Mindful Of Your Emotions
Let’s face it: daily life feels busy.
And to some extent this isn’t a bad thing. We want full lives, with plenty of opportunities.
Where it becomes a problem is when we’re unable to manage ourselves internally. Meaning, we feel negative emotions a majority of the time instead of 50-50 (50% feeling good and 50% feeling bad, which is the human experience).
So to get a better grip on your life and live it in an extraordinary way, one of the best tools to start with is being mindful of your emotions.
Follow the steps below to do just that…
- Resource: How To Fix Your Relationship (free course)
Step 1: Identify And Label Your Emotions
Step one is to identify and label your emotions.
This means you give what you’re feeling a “name.”
This will be easiest when it’s your best emotions, like excited, fun, energized, motivated, or happy.
It will be a lot harder for your most difficult emotions.
Think of the hardest emotion for you to feel (for me it used to be abandonment).
That’s the emotion you want to practice feeling the most.
Name it. Label it. Identify it.
When you do this, you get authority over it.
And while it seems like you wouldn’t want to feel negative emotion, the opposite is true.
It’s feeling your emotions—negative and positive—that leads to an authentic life.
If you avoid difficult emotions, you end up making them worse, and no one has time for that. (If you are irritable a lot, then you’re probably resisting difficult emotions for you.)
- What To Do About Negative Emotions (blog post)
- Why Emotions Matter (And How To Feel Better ) (podcast)
- Overcoming Self Doubt (free course)
Step 2: Acknowledge And Befriend Your Emotions
Step 2 is to acknowledge and befriend your emotions.
This sounds a little weird if it’s your first time hearing it, but what I mean is to really accept your emotions.
Take a deep breath and say, “Oh hi there anxiety. I see you. I love you. And we’re okay.”
This dialogue with yourself also seems weird at first, but trust me it’s nothing short of life changing.
What it does is it teaches you to accept your body and your emotions.
It’s always you creating your emotions. Yet, in the moment it seems like it’s not. It always feels like our circumstances are creating our emotions. The truth is thought and emotion are tied together in a very simple way: your thoughts cause all your emotions.
Step 3: Identify The Thoughts Causing Your Emotions
The third step is to identify the thoughts causing your emotions.
Once you’ve named your emotion and accepted it, you want to find out what you’re thinking that’s causing it.
For example, if you feel anxious, you can ask yourself, “What am I thinking that’s causing me to feel anxious?” Your brain might come up with, “I’m worried my marriage is in trouble, and I’m going to get a divorce.”
This step shows you that it’s your thought that’s causing the emotion. It’s not your circumstance (in this example the marriage) that’s causing the emotion.
Typically Grow You members want to change their thought immediately once they identify the thought causing the emotion they don’t like.
What I tell them is this: instead of rushing away from your thoughts, be open and curious about them.
Your brain has a good reason for thinking in the way that it does. So, ask yourself, “Why am I thinking this? Is it true? What actions do I take when I think this thought?”
This helps you hold space for yourself. It helps you increase your emotional intelligence and mental health overall. There’s no greater power than self awareness.
- Resource: Importance Of Self Reflection (blog post)
Step 4: Get Out Ahead Of It (Plan How To React Next Time)
The fourth step is to get out ahead of time.
This means you reflect on how you thought, felt, and acted in a past situation, then decide how you want to think, feel, and act in a similar situation in the future.
This is a lesson in self reflection. The importance of self reflection can’t be overemphasized here. It’ll help you change your future behavior permanently.
For example, if you freak out every time your toddler has a melt down, you can get out ahead of this. We know for sure a toddler is going to throw a fit in the future. So, knowing he stays the same, how do you plan to react? How do you want to think and feel?
This self reflection exercise allows you to increase your emotional responsibility so you’re not a reactive mess.
If you want more information on meditation and self reflection, this meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg, has written a book titled, Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World you can check out.
- Self Accountability (podcast)
- The Hidden Benefits Of Stress (blog post)
- Scarcity Vs. Abundance Mindset (free course)
A Final Note!
Practicing mindfulness is a way of life.
In essence, it’s one of many meditation practices that you can have in your tool belt.
Being mindful of your emotions is a life skill that will lead you toward having an extraordinary life.