By Fariborz Arbasi
,Self indulgence and engrossment leading to bad habits and addictions, entertainment and socialising, or even attending group therapies, taking up projects and such like, more often than not, emanate from trying to achieve positive emotions, or avoiding negative emotions.
Life is meaningless without emotions, but being dominated by emotions leads us to more chaos and suffering too. Appropriate solution for emotional problems is to manage emoticons. One of the most effective tools to do so, is mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a tool that enables a person to be aware of his or her perceptions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours, and physical and mental processes in the present moment. Mindfulness based on Buddhist and Sufism principles, but there are no requirements to become Buddhist or a Sufi to practice it. Today, physicians and therapists use mindfulness for reducing stress and preventing depression.
Practicing Mindfulness using Emotions
In my opinion, there are five basic aspects to practicing mindfulness using emotions, namely: Recognition, Acceptance, Investigation, Non-Identification, Messenger.
The first aspect of practicing mindfulness using emotions is recognition. Begin, by bringing your attentions to your breathing. Place your hands on your belly while you slowly breathe in and out, and take notice of your breathing. Then, observe your feelings. Recognise what your emotions are, and describe and name them. The more you observe and get to know your emotions, the more you become comfortable with them. When emotions are unknown, they become powerful and uncontrollable, but when you begin to know them and name them, they become controllable.
The second aspect of practicing mindfulness using emotions is acceptance. To accept your emotions does not mean you agree with them. Do not ignore the emotions which have come to you. Just observe and feel them, without judgment or reaction. This results in acceptance of them.
The third aspect of practicing mindfulness using emotions is investigation. Investigation is the awareness of the sense-experiences of our bodily in the present moment.
How intense are your feelings?
How are you breathing at this moment?
What are your feelings? Where in your system do you feel them?
How do you hold your posture?
The fourth aspect of practicing mindfulness using emotions is non-Identification. We’re not our emotions. Our emotions are a transient state. They come and go, but we are used to identify with Them. I am depressed, I am happy are examples of these identifications. When we identify with our emotions, it is difficult to control them.
The fifth aspect of practicing mindfulness using emotions is the messenger. Rumi says your body is like a guest house, every moment a new guest comes to the house. Welcome it and receive it with a sweet smile, even if the guest is in a mood. In fact, each guest is a messenger that has brought a message for you!
Every emotion has a message for us, for example the message of depression may be to pause and ponder or a change of lifestyle!