Sometimes, you feel angry and you can’t seem to get out of the downward spiral; everything just makes your mood worse. Sometimes, you just need to cry and can’t stop. Sometimes, you’re so contagiously happy you seem to be operating in your own world.
I can guarantee that as a human, you regularly experience these emotions. We all do.
Experiencing any of those emotions is not good or bad, right or wrong. It’s what you do when you experience them that determines your degree of happiness or suffering as you go through life. Remember, life and its events are neutral. We add the meaning. Each emotion we experience is telling us something about us and our world. Sometimes we like it; sometimes we don’t. But when we really tune in, we get to experience all of life.
Consider how you would fully experience these events.
- You wake up happy, rested and excited about the day. The sun is out, the sky has no clouds. There is the smell of coffee coming from the kitchen. Spend a moment with this.
- You wake up upset and tired. You have a headache. You spilled breakfast on your work clothes and need to change, which got you caught up in traffic and made you late for work. Spend a moment with this.
- You received some tough health news. More tests are needed but your next appointment is not for two weeks. You will have to distract yourself while you wait for the additional tests. Spend a moment with this.
I’m the first to raise my hand to say “been there!” Whether happy, nervous or sad, our emotions help us make sense of our world. So, consider how you can choose to experience and learn from your emotions – to help you either focus on the joy or the lesson in each moment? Feel, then manage your emotions to help you wisely, successfully and productively show up fully present, aware and authentic in life.
The next time you find yourself experiencing an excess of a specific emotion, take a deep breath. Allow yourself the time to fully experience it – what it feels like to be happy, relaxed, worried or upset.
Then ask yourself: what emotion(s) do I want to stay in and what do I want to learn from then move away from? Hold on to those that bring you joy, happiness and contentment. Learn from, then let go of, the others.
Consider reading Are You Putting Bricks in Your Backpack?