Releasing Negative Emotions
Meditation for Emotional Healing
I have shared with you in past articles incredible accounts of emotional healing and transformation that others have achieved using meditation and yoga. An inspiring example of such a journey can be found in the following article – Curing Severe Anxiety and Depression with Yoga. In today’s guest article, Axel, will give you more information on how to use meditation to gently heal emotional wounds and traumas, and having gone through such healing himself, he has wonderful insight into this complex condition.
Axel shares more insights and information on meditation and spirituality on his great website Axel G. Make sure you stop by and check it out.
If you would like to be a guest author on Mastery of Meditation and Yoga, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How To Heal Unpleasant Emotions With Meditation
By Axel Gjertsen
In this post you will learn how to transform painful emotions into inner stillness, which is a soothing mental state. Please keep in mind that emotional healing, or mental purification if you like, is a gradual process.
I was depressed from the age of 16-32 and to the very best of my understanding, the depression was caused by childhood traumas, a physical injury that sunk my dreams, the inability to let go of feelings and thoughts, and karma.
The reason I took a serious interest in meditation, was because I hoped it could possibly help me overcome the emotional and mental pain that I experienced around the clock. After years of meditation practice, the depression eventually subsided during a 10-day self-retreat. Only someone who has been through similar suffering, can fully appreciate the enormous relief of breaking free from the chains of emotional torment.
Avoiding Emotional Discomfort
Have you ever gone to sleep because you were feeling unhappy or low? It’s human nature to shun away from unpleasant emotions. Sex, alcohol, drugs, food and sleep are popular ways to suppress the emotional pain, momentarily. However, by avoiding your negative feelings and thoughts, they pile up like rubbish at a garbage dump.
We also tend to be afraid of our feelings and thoughts. That’s another reason we avoid them like the plague. Your unpleasant emotions are quite harmless though, and the more you work with them, the higher your tolerance gets.
Avoiding the emotional pain is obviously the wrong path to wellbeing. Instead, you should give the emotions gentle, relaxed, caring and loving attention. Use the words that work best for you.
Healing Unpleasant Emotions
If your emotions are completely overwhelming, I strongly suggest that you seek professional help before trying emotional healing on your own. I recommend talk therapy, which I have tried successfully myself.
Now, start by lying down on your back. Since it’s natural to relax while lying down, it’s one of the best body postures for emotional healing and meditation alike. Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Then, close your eyes and give relaxed attention to any unpleasant emotion in your body. Usually, the emotions dwell around the abdomen and chest.
Remember to relax your body and mind. Trying too hard only builds up physical and mental tension. Whenever you sense an unpleasant sensation, give it caring attention. Really embrace it. Accept the emotion as it is, no matter how unpleasant it may be. Continue to give relaxed attention to the emotion until it subsides. You can take breaks any time you like.
An emotion is a form of energy. I prefer to call it mental energy. By giving an unpleasant emotion attention, the mental energy is burned, not unlike the oil in an oil lamp. So, one could say that the negative emotion is the fuel and your attention is the flame. This is how your attention transforms unpleasant emotions into inner stillness. All that is left behind is a scar, which represents your memories of what caused the pain.
Emotional Healing Tips
If you’re unable to connect with your emotions, try thinking about a traumatic experience from your childhood, for example. That is likely to put you in touch with the unpleasant emotions.
For deep emotional healing, I suggest you write down all the painful experiences from your life. That alone, will connect you to a lot of unpleasant feelings and thoughts. Then, lie down on your back and work on one situation at the time.
By thinking about a painful memory, intense emotions come up to the surface. Give the emotions gentle attention. When reliving a difficult experience no longer triggers painful emotions, that particular issue has been successfully healed.
Practice on a daily basis, even if only for 10 minutes at the time. Why not do it when waking up in the morning or before going to bed at night?
Be proud of yourself for having the courage to face your unpleasant emotions and remember that you’re investing in lasting happiness…
Axel Gjertsen is a former Buddhist monk and lives in Thailand. He runs axel g which is a personal development site with a focus on meditation. Visit his website to learn more about emotional healing.
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