Lesson Topic, 6.1
Embracing our Emotions
Emotions add colour to our lives, yet we often do not notice them until they bring us either pleasure or pain. By bringing mindful awareness to our emotions, we can learn to notice and label them.
Labeling emotions can help us to appreciate pleasant moments, be curious and open to unpleasant experiences, and even notice neutral events that do not create very strong feelings and are usually overlooked.
“When you name it, you can tame it.” — Dr. Daniel Siegel
Adopting a Welcoming Attitude to Our Emotions
As we explore the the full range of emotions we experience, we can practice adopting a welcoming attitude to all of them, even the ones we prefer to go away. In this way, we learn to welcome all experiences in the “guest house” of our awareness, knowing that they will take up residence for only a temporary period of time and may have something to teach us.
There is a saying that if you name a thought or emotion, you can tame it.
Turning towards difficult emotions can make them less intense and more manageable. Labeling helps us to step out of ruminating mind, notice what is happening in the present moment and become more accepting of the full range of our emotions.
Research has found that the simple act of naming an emotion calms the emotional centre of the brain. We can learn to ride the waves of intense emotions by developing language to label our emotions and by observing their intensity.
Use the STOP technique (Goldstein, 2012) to help you pause throughout the day and recognize the emotions you are experiencing.
S – Stop and take a pause
T – Take a breath
O – Observe what you notice
P – Proceed with the rest of your day