Getting to know your emotions and interpreting your actions is vital to understanding yourself from the inside out. When you cultivate a sense of mindfulness, you gain the ability to understand yourself from an internal and external perspective. You are able to physically feel thoughts and emotions bubble inside while simultaneously evaluating yourself from an outsider’s perspective. You become skilled at detecting your emotional triggers and gain strategies to help control them. For instance, over the years I have witnessed my emotions and learned I get upset when I create expectations in my mind that lead to sharp “disappointments” when they become a reality. I tend to create these scenarios where everything is planned accordingly. When something in my plan veers off course or does not satisfy my needs, I feel toxic energy build in my shoulders, neck and jaw—waiting to burst. I get so frustrated and waste so much energy. Why?! The world is not an easy place to live in, so why do we waste so much time trying to control it? In reality, all we can do is control ourselves. Building a strong mind/ body connection has enabled me to become aware of both my physiological and psychological reactions so I can learn to control them. To have strong expectations creates this imaginary life where you ‘are constantly vulnerable to’ and ‘constantly live in disappointment.’ To think things have to go according to a strict plan and cannot veer off course is impossible. Life throws us curve balls left and right. It is by dealing with them that you learn to find yourself and your path in life. Cultivating this skill set allows you to have more self-confidence and strength so that nothing can shake your foundation. This is why I try to prepare myself for life everyday and be ready for where it takes me. The most important thing is to stay open.
Suggestions: Start to pay attention to your internal dialogue and emotions. Take note of what makes you upset, angry, frustrated, happy, or sad. Once you find those scenarios that trigger emotional reactions, think about where that emotional tension travels in your body. The next time you are in a situation that causes an emotional and physical reaction, take a moment to: PAUSE, BREATH, BECOME AWARE, REFLECT, and then ACT. Take that PAUSE to connect your body and mind; take that BREATH to gain control so you BECOME AWARE of your emotions and actions; REFLECT on how you can better handle the situation, and then ACT with confidence and composure. Try to breath into the area of your body that feels tense—and let it go. Realize that this “upsetting” moment has passed so there is nothing you can do to change it. All you can do is focus on the moment at hand and how YOU can handle yourself best. When we recognize that we can only live in the moment and prevent our emotions from controlling us, we will then be able to walk around with less baggage and stress in our lives.