– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
Are you in touch with your emotions? Do you ever experience emotions that you don’t understand? Or, do you sometimes have emotions arise without being able to trace them to a particular cause or event? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people experience confusion or a lack of clarity when it comes to trying to understand their emotions. Our emotions are sometimes incredibly complex, and attempting to parse them out can be a difficult and time consuming process.
With the right tools, though, we can begin to gain a deeper understanding of our emotional states. Practicing mindfulness is an excellent way to become more in touch with how you’re feeling; and, at the same time, greater awareness of your emotional states will contribute to your mindfulness practice.
In the following emotional journaling mindfulness exercise, you’ll take the time to record your thoughts and reflections regarding your emotional states.
To begin with, you’ll choose a journal that you can use on an ongoing basis. This can be a simple paper notebook, a fancy handmade journal that brings you joy whenever you open it, or even an anonymous online blog. The goal of writing in this journal is personal exploration. With this in mind, you shouldn’t worry about how your writing sounds, how others might judge it, or whether it’s “perfect” prose. All that matters is that you engage in the exercise.
As part of your journaling, you’ll recount recent events and the ways that those events made you feel. This is a good way to begin to connect the exterior world with your interior world. From here, you’ll begin focusing more and more on your interior feelings. Journaling can be a powerful tool, as it often allows us to release words and phrases from our subconscious that might not otherwise arise. By engaging in the following mindfulness exercise, you’ll begin to develop a greater understanding of your emotions.
Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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