Mindfulness is all about getting to know your mind. Most of us live hectic lives and we tend to be consumed by what is going on in our minds. Mindfulness helps us to come back to the present moment and to appreciate reality rather than being lost in thought.
Try sitting still in the quiet for just a couple of minutes and you will start to notice that your mind is full of thoughts, you might even become aware of some feelings. The feelings may be physical or they may be emotional.
As we rush around most of us fail to pay any attention to our emotions. In our society, and as we become adults, we tend to hide our emotions. Not many of us would feel comfortable crying in public when something makes us sad, or shouting out in joy when something makes us happy.
The trouble is that we start to hide our emotions, even from ourselves. When we don’t acknowledge our emotions we are storing up trouble for later. Failing to deal with our emotions can lead to anxiety and depression. It is much healthier to notice them as they arise.
Because we tend to ignore and hide our emotions we become less skilled at spotting them. I find a really good way to get back in touch with my emotions is by listening to music.
We all have certain songs that bring about certain emotions for us. We mentally connect a song to a particular time, and when we hear it we are taken back to that time, and the feelings that were going on for us then.
Last night I listened to the Coldplay Song ‘Fix You’, and it took me right back to the time when I discovered that I had MS. In the early days this song used to make me really tearful. When I listened to it last night I still felt the emotion of sadness but it wasn’t so intense.
So, try spending a little time getting back in touch with your emotions by listening to some music. Spot the emotions as they arise and apply a simple label. ‘Happiness’ ‘Joy’ ‘Sadness’ ‘Anger’.
Once you get the hang of labelling the emotions that arise in songs then you can apply this labelling technique in everyday life too.
By applying the label you are acknowledging the emotion. By keeping the label as a single word you are recognising it but keeping it separate – you feel the emotion but you are not the emotion.
To learn more about working with your thoughts and feelings come on a Revitalise Session. You will be amazed at how much lighter life can feel when you start to know your mind.