Does meditation actually help in controlling your emotions? If you are a person who is a regular practitioner of meditation, then you would know that this technique helps you in realizing and accepting the emotions. Various studies have suggested that this beautiful mindfulness technique helps in making you understand what you experience an emotion, at any given time, and let go of the negative ones.
According to a study conducted by Matthew Lieberman, a psychologist at UCLA, meditation helps in identifying the emotions accurately, thereby offering you an opportunity to control them. In the studies conducted using fMRI scans, he found out that labeling the negative emotions a person experiences at a moment helps in calming the amygdala, the emotional center of your brain. This could, probably, be the reason why meditation helps in letting the emotions go.
According to Lieberman, when you are able to put your feelings into words or expressions, you would be applying the brakes on your emotional outflow. This, in turn, could help in controlling unwanted reactions.
Mindfulness meditation or emotions meditation is a beautiful and simple technique that teaches you to create an awareness of the emotions as they appear, label them, and allow them to pass through the mind. Regular practice of this technique also helps in clear the metal clutter by remaining neutral towards all the emotions and just allowing them to move on.
The best way to eliminate or control the uncomfortable emotions is to experience them by sitting down calmly. And, you can do it spontaneously if you meditate regularly. Just sit comfortably and focus on the emotion you are experiencing or have notice at that particular moment. Let your mind wander through. Do not restrict it, but just make sure that you are not reacting to any emotion you are experiencing. Just experience it as a passing cloud.
You should never look at meditation as a tool of repressing your emotions or thought process by forcing yourself to silence those. The silence or peacefulness you achieve through forceful repression does are just superficially imposed. Studies have proven that forceful suppression leads to despair, disappointment, and frustration. Instead, aim to acknowledge what you experience. Accept them. Once you do these, you would find it easier to manage your thought process.
So, how do you do that? It is very simple. Here is a simplified version of the classical mindfulness meditation that you could practice anywhere, irrespective of the time.
- Sit down comfortably in a place of your choice. Just ensure that you are sitting in a place where you will not be disturbed.
- Close your eyes and let your body relax.
- Take a couple of deep breaths, breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth.
- Identify what you experience at the moment without trying to judge or suppress the emotions.
- Just notice what comes up in your mind as and how it arises.
- Slowly let go of all the emotions, with each exhalation.
- Bring your focus back to your breath.
- Remain in the state as long as you want before coming back to your present state.
For a longer version, you could try doing some self talk. You could give the emotions a shape of your choice and talk to it as if you are talking to your friend. Accept it; acknowledge it. Approve the emotions, but do not react. Never see them as a problem. Instead, embrace them as natural experiences and connect with them. When you are able to do this, you would slowly be able to control them emotions.
So, the basic concept of practicing meditation is to face your emotions without repressing or controlling them. Negative emotions, if left unacknowledged, could manifest as various disorders and health issues. Hence, it is very essential to identify, accept, and acknowledge them. Hence, it is advisable to utilize meditation to liberate the emotions by familiarizing with them. When you are able to experience what they actually are, you would be able to work with them in a constructive way.