One of the questions I get asked about the most is what impact meditation has on our emotions, especially during those times when strong emotions come up in meditation.
This is a great question and one which requires some consideration in answering as it will give some insight into how to approach strong emotions during meditation, or even outside of meditation.
Firstly, meditation will not “fix” emotional issues that you may be having. In fact, it’s not recommended to meditate if you are feeling angry, sad, upset or disturbed in anyway by strong emotions as it’s not going to help.
It’s really simple – we’re meant to feel our emotions. But what tends to happen for many people is that they either push their feelings down because they are not comfortable with them, which of course can lead to mental and physical health problems, or they project them onto others around them which also can end in disaster.
Emotional Healing in Motion
The best way to handle and heal difficult emotions is to give yourself space to let them come and go as they please. If you feel like crying – cry. If you feel like laughing – laugh. If you feel like screaming – then scream, just make sure to scream into a pillow or something similar if you don’t want to have to deal with people’s reactions to you.
The same can be said for all our emotions – find a way to allow them to be okay. Even anger and rage are quite natural emotions and the worst thing you can do is try and hold them in. Even if you do succeed, you’ll only end up carry more tension around inside you which will lead to poor health.
Anger is a powerful emotion and needs to be given a way to be expressed or moved through your body and out of it without doing harm to yourself or others. For some people, exercise helps them to release any pent up emotion, while for others it may take some type of cathartic behavior to help it move along.
Shout, be angry, beat a pillow and you will be very surprised that after doing something like beating a pillow until the anger has passed that you now feel good. Just the very posture of beating the pillow, and the mind starts releasing it’s anger, and the body follows.
It’s also helpful if you’re feeling a little down or sad to go for a run. It’s the physical movement combined with deep breaths that helps to release the emotion from the mind and body.
When you move the body, the mind will naturally start to move as well, which is called catharsis and this catharsis of the mind is how you get to release pent up thoughts and feelings. It doesn’t matter who or what you are upset with, you can picture them while you are beating the pillow if you like. Just remember to take it all out on the pillow and then no-one gets hurt.
You’ll be amazed after you have exhausted yourself emotionally with a pillow, how silent peaceful you feel on the inside and how quiet the mind is. This cathartic behavior is a meditation in it’s own right – I call it a meditation on letting go of the need to control your emotions.
Instead you are throwing them out from you in a safe environment as you scream into your pillow and go wild as you beat it up. There’s no downside to this as you can really let your emotions out and finally be free from them festering away inside the mind and body.
If that’s not something that you can see yourself doing, then you can always try dancing, running, swimming, singing, or any type of movement that you can let yourself go in. Try not to make any rules around it, just move the body anyway it wants to until you feel that you have released any pent up energy from the mind and body.
Entering The Calm
Once you have moved the body and released the emotion from the body and the mind, then you will be able to sit quietly and meditate with ease. Even if it’s just sitting quietly and watching your breath move in and out of the body, it’ll be a breeze for you now.
Meditation and emotions can go together, it’s just that you have to move the body first and do something cathartic with it, and then you can sit quietly and enjoy a silent meditation afterwards.
If you follow this two-step process not only will you be helping your mind and body to be happier and happier, you’re meditations will be deeper and you will feel and aliveness and a vitality that gives you a new zest on life.
Once you are in a space to meditate and you are ready for more calm, clarity and focus then start with our Focus 5, five minute meditations. It’s 100% free and these simple five minute guided meditations will show you just how easy it is to step back from an overactive mind or emotions.