Most of us don’t have control over many of the things that happen to us (this will come in time) but we can learn how to deal with them so that they cause the least damaging effect on our physiology. There is nothing wrong with expressing an emotion, in fact, it’s often the healthiest thing to do. The problems arise when we hold onto those emotions so they become part of our physiology and a moment of anger becomes days of hostility, a sudden fear turns into a life of paranoia.
If we are driving on the freeway and someone cuts in front of us, there are many ways we can react. We might get angry and speed after the other car, honking our horn and telling the driver what we think of him or her; we might feel afraid and slow down thinking to ourselves that we almost got killed there; or again, we might experience anxiety, and be constantly looking around for the next person we imagine is going cut us off. Of course, the ideal response would to just smile and think, “Boy, someone’s in a hurry”, and continue calmly on our way but, unfortunately this isn’t the choice most of us usually make. Whichever way we choose to react, once we realize what is happening, there is a simple technique we can apply to help move us past any emotion.
It’s difficult to deal with an emotion on the mental level. However, every emotion we have is always accompanied by a physical sensation. If it’s anger, it may be a tightness just below the ribs; fear may cause our hearts to pound and our breathing to become difficult; sadness can make our hearts feel heavy. These sensations are the emotions becoming toxic in our system.
Whatever the emotion, if it is overwhelming or uncomfortable, direct your attention into your body and be aware of the sensations there. Rather than getting caught up in the emotion itself, just let your attention be with the sensation that’s associated with it. This way our bodies can begin to heal themselves.
Use your breath to breathe deeply into the sensation. Allow the breath to release the sensation and re-energize the body. In a short time you will notice that the sensation is not so strong, which will also be the sign that the emotion is also starting to fade.
This technique can be done anywhere at any time. If you can sit down and close your eyes, it’s usually easier to focus on the sensation but, if you can’t close your eyes, do it any way.