Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

Three Steps to Work With Difficult Emotions

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

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a three-step process to help you work with difficult emotions. So when we experience painful emotions, often our kind of knee-jerk response is to struggle with those emotions in some way. Or sometimes we just try to ignore them. But we can learn to regulate our emotions more skillfully and also listen to what they may have to teach or show us in these three simple steps.

So when you first feel any kind of difficult emotion, the first thing you want to do is just pause and take one mindful breath in and out just to ground yourself. And then you can use these three steps where you're basically going to finish three sentences. The first one is, I feel. The second one is, I need. And the third one is, I will.

Okay. I feel, I need, I will. So I'll just walk you through this. I feel is where you name the emotion that you're feeling. So here you would say to yourself mentally, I feel sadness, you know, for instance.

I need is here you explore what the potential unmet need is in that moment. So perhaps you feel sadness because you've been in lockdown and you're missing your friends and family. So you would say to yourself in this first, in this step, I need some more connection, maybe. Or maybe you're feeling regret because you had an argument with somebody and you said something you wish you hadn't. So in this step you might say to yourself, I need to make amends.

Or maybe you feel anger because your boss gave you extra work to do, and you're already overloaded. So in this step you might have said to yourself, something like, I need to put better boundaries in place, so I don't get burnt out. Now step three, I will, is an action step that you're going to take towards getting that need met. So for instance, in the case of being sad and missing your family and friends, so you might say to yourself, I will make a zoom call to them tonight. In the case of the regret and the need to make amends, you might say to yourself, I will go to this person and apologize.

In the case of the anger, you know, feeling anger because your boss is giving you too much workload. I need to put better boundaries in place so I don't get burnt out. Then this last step would be, I will say no to my boss the next time he asks me to do more work than I can realistically handle. I'll explain why I don't wish to work overtime. Okay.

So that's the invitation to give this practice a try today and see how it goes for you. The next time you feel a difficult emotion, practice taking one slow, mindful breath, and then using, I feel, I need, I will. When we listen to and respond to our emotions like this, they can really become our teachers and guides. We can use them to help us get clear on how to meet our own needs in ways that help us stay happy, healthy, and strong. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Three Steps to Work With Difficult Emotions

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, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about a three-step process to help you work with difficult emotions. So when we experience painful emotions, often our kind of knee-jerk response is to struggle with those emotions in some way. Or sometimes we just try to ignore them. But we can learn to regulate our emotions more skillfully and also listen to what they may have to teach or show us in these three simple steps.

So when you first feel any kind of difficult emotion, the first thing you want to do is just pause and take one mindful breath in and out just to ground yourself. And then you can use these three steps where you're basically going to finish three sentences. The first one is, I feel. The second one is, I need. And the third one is, I will.

Okay. I feel, I need, I will. So I'll just walk you through this. I feel is where you name the emotion that you're feeling. So here you would say to yourself mentally, I feel sadness, you know, for instance.

I need is here you explore what the potential unmet need is in that moment. So perhaps you feel sadness because you've been in lockdown and you're missing your friends and family. So you would say to yourself in this first, in this step, I need some more connection, maybe. Or maybe you're feeling regret because you had an argument with somebody and you said something you wish you hadn't. So in this step you might say to yourself, I need to make amends.

Or maybe you feel anger because your boss gave you extra work to do, and you're already overloaded. So in this step you might have said to yourself, something like, I need to put better boundaries in place, so I don't get burnt out. Now step three, I will, is an action step that you're going to take towards getting that need met. So for instance, in the case of being sad and missing your family and friends, so you might say to yourself, I will make a zoom call to them tonight. In the case of the regret and the need to make amends, you might say to yourself, I will go to this person and apologize.

In the case of the anger, you know, feeling anger because your boss is giving you too much workload. I need to put better boundaries in place so I don't get burnt out. Then this last step would be, I will say no to my boss the next time he asks me to do more work than I can realistically handle. I'll explain why I don't wish to work overtime. Okay.

So that's the invitation to give this practice a try today and see how it goes for you. The next time you feel a difficult emotion, practice taking one slow, mindful breath, and then using, I feel, I need, I will. When we listen to and respond to our emotions like this, they can really become our teachers and guides. We can use them to help us get clear on how to meet our own needs in ways that help us stay happy, healthy, and strong. As always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And let's now settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds