Today we’re going to practise how to observe and feel our emotions without getting caught up in them.
While most of us enjoy experiencing feelings like excitement and happiness, we tend to avoid uncomfortable emotions.
Human beings are masters of distraction, and many of us have a tried and tested toolkit to help us avoid feelings of anger, sadness, anxiety, guilt, shame and fear. We use alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, food, and social media to numb us whenever we feel uncomfortable.
While these may temporarily numb the discomfort, they don’t address the underlying causes of the trouble. It is often the avoidance of negative emotion that creates the most amount of suffering long-term.
While escape makes us feel good temporarily, when we come back to reality, the feeling is still there. The emotion might not be quite as uncomfortable as it was before we distracted ourselves, but it is still there, under the surface, locked away behind a door in our mind or in our body that can swing open at any time.
Furthermore, the longer we lock these feelings away, the more powerful these emotions tend to become.
In today’s exercises, we are going to practice observing our emotions without being triggered by them and without getting caught up in them.