Here we are, a solid 3 years later. What have we learnt in that time? Let’s give that a little discussion. Since the start of this blog, my perspectives on myself and the world around me has significantly changed. I’d say this journey into self-discovery started around a year ago, nearing the summer of 2017.
That was the time some unprecedented decisions influenced a change in me. I started paying more attention to myself, my thought patterns & my general attitude towards life. Mindfulness. That’s essentially how the self-awareness implemented itself. I started meditating during that period, to better deal with my mind.In the upcoming blogs, I’m going to try and express the knowledge I’ve gained in different ways by focusing on different topics. Today’s post will focus mainly on meditation & emotions.
Before I really dive in, let me quickly summarize what meditation is to me. It’s the act of clearing your head space before starting your day or at any other time, by focusing on a single point of reference such as your breath. It amplifies clarity, calmness, attentiveness, focus & gratitude (And much more). So how did this habit get implemented into my life?
I started trying it out every morning, just after I’d get out of bed. I used an app called “Insight Timer” that has wonderful guided meditations. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of just sitting there & allowing my body to relax. It was difficult at first, considering how chaotic and messy my thought patterns were. I didn’t really understand how to accept thoughts and let them go, without delving into them. But as I built on the practice and consistently worked through it, I started noticing significant changes about a week later. I formed a greater appreciation of just about everything.
What people don’t realize about this habit, is that it teaches you to deal with distractions. You recognize your thoughts better & so you understand how to let them go more easily. Focusing on the breath allows you to re-program your mind to just try and do one thing at a time. That can essentially help you in every aspect of your life.
What I’ve learnt from psychology is that emotions are your body’s response to external stimuli. Feelings occur as a result of your conscious interpretation of those emotions, or as a result of your thought patterns regarding them. From this we can differentiate between thoughts & feelings, whereby thoughts (mental impressions) precede how we feel. What I want to talk about specifically is accepting & understanding your thoughts & feelings. More often than not, the way we deal with our feelings involves either holding on to or resisting them. In either case it’s a result of something unnatural.
Holding on: When feeling joy or happiness, how foolish are we to hold onto them when we know that change is the only constant? A transitory stage such as peeing, would you consider that happiness? Fleeting moment by moment, the tendency to hold onto our feelings and attaching some sort of identity towards it, creates a distortion within ourselves. Once we stop feeling that way, something is wrong or we’re on the search for it again.
Resisting: When feeling sadness or grief, the urge not to feel a certain way arises. This results in some form of nonacceptance with the present moment. When we tell ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling this way or when we forcefully try to feel something else, it results in a strengthening of that emotion over you. You have less control over yourself and your decisions because you’re too busy juggling with the thoughts that arise.
The solution to these inadequate coping mechanisms in my opinion, would be through acceptance. What I mean by that is purely allowing yourself to feel without harboring any judgement. Self-love is a vital intersect in these points because in order to accept the way you are and how you feel about certain things, you need to have some sort of loving compassion towards yourself. Let me use sadness as an example: When something terribly wrong occurs to us and we start feeling an overwhelming sadness, our instinctive reaction would be to stop feeling that way. We’d resort to distracting ourselves or finding different ways to numb the pain. With acceptance, you’re allowing that feeling to encompass you without holding on to or resisting it. Just allowing the feeling to occur. That lets go of the grip the feeling has on you, and allows you to stay present.
Putting it all together, meditating helped me understand my own emotions and feelings better. From impulsively reacting or forcing myself to let go, to just allowing myself to feel. It matters a great lot understanding yourself in order to better understand other people.
The site title says: “Memento Mori”. Remember that you too shall die someday. Live life to its fullest and make the most of now. That’s all you have after all ;).