Today I want to talk about managing emotional states
Is it true that when we are in an emotional state, say anger or sadness for example, there is nothing much we can do about it, apart from wait for it to go away?
Whenever a mood came over me I felt as if it was controlling me, I was the victim.
I felt boxed in and felt as though I had no control over it, somebody else was to blame, tears would come, self pity, frustration, the feeling was low and heavy….
When something triggers a reaction in us like this we can very often find ourselves going headlong into an emotional spiral downwards. It feels like it can’t be stopped. We are right in the middle of it, at the mercy of its heavy pulling and we can feel helpless to change anything.
But what if…
… at times like these, we had at our disposal some powerful awareness tools to pull ourselves right out of it. What if we could change our mood almost in an instant and switch back into our joyful and bouncy selves. What if this were possible. What if all of the justifications you have about why you should stay in this low state were a lie and that opening to the truth of your essential being dissolved them immediately and left you in a state of open truth and happiness?
How would that be? (Do you feel different already just thinking about it?)
The truth is, we do experience these lower states and we are constantly being triggered into automatic emotional reactions that we don’t always have immediate control over. Being on the ‘path of self awareness’, the so called ‘path of enlightenment’, doesn’t mean that you are automatically exempted from having negative states, transformed into some kind of holy guru, where nothing ever touches you and you have an eternal, blissful smile on your face day in and day out.
We are in the real world here
But what I find really empowering and freeing is the fact that we can gather a whole ‘basket’ of tools on our journey, to empower us to deal with any situation and any emotional spiralling as and whenever it occurs. Making use of these tools, processes and techniques gives us the power to come back to a balanced and peaceful state any time we choose, especially when we have been ‘triggered’ by circumstances and events that ‘push our buttons’. By ‘triggering’ I mean those times when someone says something, or maybe your thoughts go somewhere, or maybe you see something that impacts you in a negative way and results in you diving into a state of sadness, jealousy, loneliness, self-judgement, abandonment or any other negative state.
It may be something that seems relatively small on the surface, such as your mother telling you that you should spend more time with your daughter or something that appears to be much more catastrophic such as losing a loved one, your health or your main surce of income. In fact it is not so much what happens on the surface, that is important, as what it sets off inside of you.
Maybe you were criticised a lot as a child and this made you feel worthless. If so, a simple remark such as the one above can send you right back into feeling totally worthless. From this place you may then spiral into feeling angry, not understood, lonely, devastated ….. you get the picture.
However with your empowering basket of tools you can take a step outside of yourself and beyond the situation. You become the compassionate observer of what is happening, where you can see everything more clearly. You become able to see the bigger picture and where everything all fits together and you become much more able to relax.
There are many tools, many ways to do this, all of which I would put under the umbrella of Spiritual Meditations, since it is about turning inwards to access your higher self and seeing and experiencing everything from that deeper place of being. I will share one of them with you today and you will find more tools and techniques in various other articles on this blog too.
This exercise is very simple and easy to do.
The most difficult part is actually deciding to do it, because when you are in a low state there is often resistance to change.
However if see it as trying the exercise just as an experiment, the resistance will lessen and I think you will be pleasantly surprised. This will motivate you more to do it next time the need arises until it becomes routine. Once you have established the habit,by consciously choosing it each time you are confronted with a triggering situation, it will become more natural. It will develop into an automatic response whenever you are triggered and this can make life oh-h so much lighter and easier.
- Ok so …. Take a deep breath in through the nose and breathe out through the mouth with a sigh.
- Do this a couple of times and, as you do so, imagine making yourself, your awareness, as big as the room.
- Now make yourself as big as the city or town you are living in. Then let yourself expand as far as the country. All the time breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
- Now allow yourself to expand as far as the whole world. Feel how that is. Let yourself have the experience of it …
- … and now into the whole universe … and beyond.
- Really let yourself get into the feeling, the expansion, even if just for a minute or two.
- Now that you are in this expanded state of being as big as the universe, take a look down at the situation that triggered the earlier negative feelings and see how you feel about it now.
- More than likely you will see things differently and feel much lighter and easier about it.
This is a process that only takes a few minutes yet it can completely change the way you feel and this can have an effect on you for the whole day. So instead of going around in a bad mood, because of something your mother said that morning or because of some ‘bad’ news you have had, you can have a much lighter and more enjoyable day. You will be so much more in tune with your wise, higher self and much more empowered and free.
Changing your state from a lower vibration to a higher one will always have a healing, relaxing effect as the body is naturally biased in the direction of growing to higher states, as long as we provide it with the opportunity to do so.
You can see this working in another exercise I shared with you in an earlier article about why meditating is important
Given a choice between a lower or a higher state the body will always choose the higher, more resourceful state.
Let me know how it went for you … I always look forward to your feedback