As humans, we all experience a wide range of emotions. From uplifting emotions like joy and contentment to more challenging emotions like anger and sadness, the human emotional experience comes in many shades. Mindfulness of emotions is the practice of bearing witness to whatever emotion we are experiencing – with curiosity, care, and non-judgment. It is not always an easy practice, but it is one that can be strengthened.
In this guide on how to be mindful of your emotions, we will explore:
As noted, mindfulness of emotions is simply the practice of paying attention to our emotional experience with care and curiosity and without judgment. Most of us know that this can be difficult, especially in the face of strong emotions like anger, jealousy, or grief. However, it is a skill that can be developed overtime and with practice.
When we pay mindful attention to our emotions, we are doing so without making our emotions good or bad, right or wrong. For instance, if anger is present, we pay attention without trying to assess the validity of the emotion. Rather, we notice the simple fact of what is present along with any direct sensations we are experiencing (i.e. tightness in the shoulders or warmth in the face). If we notice a voice that says, “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” or “I’m right to feel this way,” these too can be held in the light of awareness. We do not need to judge our judgments.
Furthermore, mindfulness of emotions is not a practice used to ‘get rid’ of our emotions or to bypass them. Our emotions might shift or transmute as a result of practice, but the intention is not to change through force or will. Equally, it is not about holding onto our emotions. This practice is simply one of gentle observation that allows our present moment experience to be what it is.