Emotions are just too risky to express at work. Most of the time we just bottle them up in difficult situations and we cope by finding some way of unwinding after work or at weekends. With mindfulness we can process emotions without bottling them up or reacting. Not only does this release us from the tension and stress that controlling emotions causes us but it releases us from the strategies we use to unwind that often become destruction.
If we can notice a trigger and our emotional reaction before we bottle it up or react, we have the chance to process our emotions and to change. Processing our emotions, instead of controlling or reacting to them, can free us from our destructive patterns.
When we notice emotional triggers and our emotional reaction we can apply a mindfulness approach. We might focus our attention to the sensations of breath to interrupt the process of reaction. This gives us a moment to step back. Then, when we give ourselves a little distance we can experience the emotions as sensations in our body without fueling them by focusing on the trigger. This shifts our perspective and enables us to process the emotions. Then we can think more clearly and respond more effectively to the actual situation we face.
Often we find that it’s not so easy to spot our reactions. This is where formal mindfulness exercises give us the space to practice the skills we can then use in everyday situations. In formal mindfulness exercises we get to put experience on the workbench of our minds. This gives us the opportunity to develop our capacity to notice what is happening for us from moment to moment and to practice exploring emotions in the controlled environment in our mindfulness courses.