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Emotional Balance Beam

I hate my emotions. I swear I do. The older I’ve gotten; the more I wish I could just throw certain emotions to the curb, like it was Sunday’s new. I wish God would give me a Menu and let me choose the emotions I want LOL. Cause a lot of the ones he has given me; most days, I want to return to sender LOL! For most of my life I was able to control my emotions. I absolutely loved that about me. I thought it protected me. I thought it showcased my strength. The ability to feel miserable and all over the place internally; externally, looking like one of the happiest and most put together people around…was always a blessing to me. It wasn’t until I approached my mid-30s, that I realized it was also a curse.

It’s like keeping a child sheltered. He or she will lack interpersonal skills. I, being sheltered/restricted from certain emotions, caused me to lack the necessary skills to cope and handle certain emotions when they arose. Anger and happiness, I could handle and exhibit anytime with ease. Sadness, depression, despair, etc. – I would shut the hell down and become numb. Now my restriction on these emotions are weak and I hate it LOL! I HATE IT! I can’t control or restrict these dang emotions at all. Although, in the moment I can’t stand that loss of power. I noticed that there are added benefits. By the particular emotion being free to roam and do whatever, there are no side effects that linger and consume me. A result of this, is that it doesn’t weigh me down as much – emotionally or mentally.

Avoidance doesn’t work because pain is an inevitable part of life. It is an essential aspect of being human. It is in how we choose to respond to the emotional and physical pain we experience that determines whether we are able to get through that pain, or unwittingly extend and amplify it. Our wishful thinking tells us that if we can just avoid the pain, it won’t affect us. Ironically, efforts to keep painful thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations at bay may work temporarily, but in the long run only prolong those experiences and intensify the suffering connected to them.

Developing emotional balance begins with a solid foundation of self-awareness, the heart of emotional intelligence. Self-Awareness enables us to recognize our emotions as they occur and the ways in which our emotions impact all aspects of our lives. Without Self-Awareness, we remain on autopilot and fall back on unquestioned behavioral responses and routines. In order to affect behavioral change, we must first become attuned to our emotions, and the ways in which they positively and negatively inform our lives.

According to Dan Mager, MSW, “Emotions, especially powerful, disturbing ones, can seem as though they will last forever. However, whether they are positive and bring smiles to our face and laughter to our lips, or painful and bring hurt to our hearts and tears to our eyes, feelings are always temporary. They come and go like guests who come to visit: some are welcome and we’re delighted to see them; others not so much.”

Emotions of all types are felt within our mental consciousness not within our senses. We certainly experience feelings within our senses but the emotional reaction to whatever we engage with takes place always at the level of our mental consciousness within ourselves. From this perspective emotions all have a degree of inaccuracy in the way they engage with the world; since rather than the actual object out there being what they engage with, it is a mental image of that object.

According to Psychology Today, “Being out of balance emotionally usually involves either not allowing yourself to experience your feelings as they evolve by avoiding or suppressing them, or being so attached to and identified with them that your feelings are all-consuming. Emotional balance occurs when we allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up, without feeling stifled or overwhelmed, and learn to accept our feelings without judgment.”

In the same way that lightning always finds a path to ground, feelings—including those that are uncomfortable and painful—always find a path to expression. If we don’t allow ourselves to feel them and, as necessary talk about them, if we avoid or suppress our feelings, then they invariably come out “sideways”—in indirect forms via our behavior.

The Huffington Post, courtesy of Kino MacGregor (International Yoga Instructor & Author), there are 9 easy tips for emotional balance. They are:

Breathing - Watch your breath throughout the day for signals about your stress level. If you notice yourself holding your breath, breathing erratically or sighing often, then consciously take 10 deep breaths, counting backwards with each inhalation and exhalation.

Practice Gratitude - Pause at regular integrals throughout the day and consciously find something that you are truly grateful for. Do not act or pretend. In every stressful situation search for one thing that you can say an honest thanks about. Only the real attitude of gratitude has the power to change your emotional state.

Change Your Viewpoint - If you're stuck in the middle of intense emotions, you won't see clearly and you will be reacting from past patterns. Act don't react. Consciously choose your actions from a place of clarity, rather than just reacting to pain or running toward pleasure. As soon as you notice yourself losing your emotional center, excuse yourself and change your view, literally!

Feel - So much tension and wasted energy is spent repressing or denying how we feel, both emotionally and in our bodies. Instead of pretending to be something that you are not, feel honestly what you are feeling and allow the simple truth of your emotions to set you free. Every emotion surfaces to teach you something or tell you something. Your job is to be clear enough to recognize the emotion for the messenger that it is.

Use Your Senses - Direct your awareness to what you like about your current experience. Get fresh air and see the sunlight as much as possible. Notice and appreciate your surroundings.

Generate Energy - Little bursts of physical movement help the body feel better and the mind focus more intently. You don't have to run a marathon to be energized, sometimes all it takes is a walk around the block or to go up and down a few flights of stairs. If you don't have time to get outside of your office, stand up in front of your desk for a few minutes every hour and either stretch or continue what you're doing while standing.

Reflect - Take the last moments of your day to reflect on the good things about your day, seeing the negative experiences as learning and evaluate from the perspective of what you can learn, not how you failed.

Dream - Let yourself daydream. Don't fill every moment of your day with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Just let yourself relax and your mind wander. Be careful not to let your mind harp on the negative in these little reveries.

Surrender - Don't let yourself get too caught up in how things "should" be. Be prepared to let go of your attachments to any particular outcome so that you can be open to something bigger than you have ever imagined. Let life lead you down unexpected turns and you will discover magic in the most ordinary places.


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