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The Lifespan of an Emotion

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the momentary nature of painful emotions. Now the main thing that prevents a painful emotion from being a momentary experience is the thought that it shouldn't be there in the first place. When you don't let yourself feel an emotion fully it gets stuck in a metaphorical purgatory, unable to transition until completing its unfinished business. Presence gives space for an emotion to be felt and thus fulfill its nature, which is to arise and to pass.

And this isn't just a, a nice meditation idea. Research shows that the average lifespan of an emotion is roughly 90 seconds. What keeps it feeling persistent is the judgment and the story that we cake on top of it, adding fuel to the fire or suppressing the emotion altogether. When you let yourself feel the sensational experience of the emotion, it gives it space to rise and fall. Similar to, to a sine wave coming up and then passing.

Of course, just because you do this once and you feel it fully doesn't mean the emotion won't come back. And this is especially true if you're processing a recent, difficult event. However, letting the momentary experiences of, of these emotions arise when they do and then pass as they will, not only allows you to feel the full aliveness of your humanness, but prevents these emotions from feeling static and stuck and also gives way for experiences of ease, relief, gratitude, and joy, even if only during the in-between moments of the intensity of a painful experience. A body scan meditation is a great way to train yourself, to, uh, just experience the sensations in your body without being consumed by the thoughts and the judgments of those sensations. And we'll be doing a body scan for today's meditation.

But you can also simply practice doing this in the moment of experiencing a painful emotion by noticing the story that arises in your mind and the judgments you have. Take a deep breath into the emotion, relax into it, and then name the different qualities that you feel. Heat tingliness, heaviness, coolness, dullness. When you name these sensations, really make sure you're, you're naming them at the most reduced level. So for instance, achiness is different than agony, uh, which is a more emotional description.

Heat is different than frustrated, which again is a more emotional description. So the key is being with the direct experience. The story may still be present that you don't like this, or this is awful, and you can notice it as background radio noise. But it's essential to have most of your awareness on the feeling of the experience itself. This is how it gets processed, integrated, and released, and it doesn't get stuck.

Of course go at your own pace with thi, and in a way that feels safe for you. You don't need to open the flood gates and feel everything at once, especially if you're your primary survival strategy has been to not feel the intensity of these experiences. That's very understandable and can take some time to unlearn. So I hope this helps on your path. I'm beaming you a lot of love and support.

Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.7

The Lifespan of an Emotion

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, welcome back to your Daily Mindfulness. In today's session, we're going to talk about the momentary nature of painful emotions. Now the main thing that prevents a painful emotion from being a momentary experience is the thought that it shouldn't be there in the first place. When you don't let yourself feel an emotion fully it gets stuck in a metaphorical purgatory, unable to transition until completing its unfinished business. Presence gives space for an emotion to be felt and thus fulfill its nature, which is to arise and to pass.

And this isn't just a, a nice meditation idea. Research shows that the average lifespan of an emotion is roughly 90 seconds. What keeps it feeling persistent is the judgment and the story that we cake on top of it, adding fuel to the fire or suppressing the emotion altogether. When you let yourself feel the sensational experience of the emotion, it gives it space to rise and fall. Similar to, to a sine wave coming up and then passing.

Of course, just because you do this once and you feel it fully doesn't mean the emotion won't come back. And this is especially true if you're processing a recent, difficult event. However, letting the momentary experiences of, of these emotions arise when they do and then pass as they will, not only allows you to feel the full aliveness of your humanness, but prevents these emotions from feeling static and stuck and also gives way for experiences of ease, relief, gratitude, and joy, even if only during the in-between moments of the intensity of a painful experience. A body scan meditation is a great way to train yourself, to, uh, just experience the sensations in your body without being consumed by the thoughts and the judgments of those sensations. And we'll be doing a body scan for today's meditation.

But you can also simply practice doing this in the moment of experiencing a painful emotion by noticing the story that arises in your mind and the judgments you have. Take a deep breath into the emotion, relax into it, and then name the different qualities that you feel. Heat tingliness, heaviness, coolness, dullness. When you name these sensations, really make sure you're, you're naming them at the most reduced level. So for instance, achiness is different than agony, uh, which is a more emotional description.

Heat is different than frustrated, which again is a more emotional description. So the key is being with the direct experience. The story may still be present that you don't like this, or this is awful, and you can notice it as background radio noise. But it's essential to have most of your awareness on the feeling of the experience itself. This is how it gets processed, integrated, and released, and it doesn't get stuck.

Of course go at your own pace with thi, and in a way that feels safe for you. You don't need to open the flood gates and feel everything at once, especially if you're your primary survival strategy has been to not feel the intensity of these experiences. That's very understandable and can take some time to unlearn. So I hope this helps on your path. I'm beaming you a lot of love and support.

Thank you for your practice and let's settle in for today's meditation.

Cory Muscara

4.7

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