Written By Kat Gal
How do you feel most of the time?
Do you experience emotional mood swings, being happy one moment, but sad the next?
Even if you are generally a relaxed person, you probably fluctuate between happy and sad, positive and negative, optimistic and pessimistic, courageous and fearful.
It is just human nature.
We seek comfort and aim to avoid suffering. We want love and happiness and we don’t want pain and discomfort. When I hurt my toe 9 weeks ago, I knew it would heal within 2 months, yet, I wanted to make it go away immediately.
But when I was cuddling with my partner on the sofa the other night, I wanted that moment to last forever.
When we experience something negative, we try to stop it, ignore it or run away from it. When we experience pleasure, we want it more.
But leading a life that is determined by the past and the future leads to emotional ups and downs. This can be overwhelming, stressful and can create great levels of suffering.
Last year, I sat in on a 10-day Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat. For 10 days, we were not allowed to communicate at all. There was absolutely no verbal or nonverbal communication, just 10 hours of meditation each day.
Vipassana means seeing things are they are. It teaches us to observe the sensations in our bodies in the present moment in order to liberate ourselves from our sufferings caused by cravings and aversions. Vipassana teaches you to be in the present moment.
By the end of the 10 days, I felt calm, relaxed and balanced. I felt at peace. I truly felt that I was able to be in the present moment and it was beautiful.
Of course, since I left the meditation center and returned to the “real world” and living “real life” not meditating 10 hours a day, I have certainly not always been so focused in the present moment…
Like everyone else, I want to avoid suffering, but seek and prolong pleasure. However, since the retreat, I’ve learned that nothing is permanent and being in the present moment is what brings me peace.
Vipassana is not the only tradition that teaches you about being in the present – there are other Buddhist and non-Buddhist spiritual practices too. It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are – if you are spiritual or not, there are some spiritual practices that can help you balance your emotions, deal with your ups and downs and aid you in achieving peace and balance.
Here are 6 spiritual practices to help balance your emotions, which I hope you will try!
1. Be compassionate: Assume that innately everyone and everything is good. Try to understand why people are acting a certain way and why certain things are happening. Be compassionate towards yourself as well.
2. Understand that nothing is permanent: Life is continuously changing. You and everything around is changing, even during the few minutes you are reading this article. It doesn’t matter how difficult the situation you are facing now is; remember, nothing is permanent, this too shall pass.
3. Be present: Negative emotions happen because we dwell on the past or worry about the future. Positive emotions also arise due to happy memories or optimistic future thinking. However, the past is over and the future hasn’t happened yet. All we have is now. So be present – notice what is happening in this moment.
4. Practice non-reactivity in conflict situations: Remain still and peaceful. Everything passes; there is no need to react, especially in a negative manner.
5. Be as neutral as possible: Things are not good or bad, they just are. Our reactions and judgments make them good or bad. Remain as non-judgmental as possible.
6. Notice your urge to move away from or towards something: But do not move. Notice why you want to move a certain direction. What is driving you, love or fear? Don’t move, just notice your impulses. Learn from them.
Do you have a practice you enjoy that keeps you centered and in the NOW? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below and share with us.
Kat Gál is a Holistic Health & Happiness Coach guiding women to feel empowered to get out of the roller-coaster of chronic emotional and physical pain and enter into a world of confidence, self-love, energy, happiness, health and freedom. She also specializes in healing from child abuse working with women who have survived the trauma of growing up in a dysfunctional family and the trauma of abuse experienced as a child or teen.
Kat invites you to join her Facebook group, “You are enough! You deserve to be happy, healthy and loved”, a safe sanctuary for woman on healing, sharing and living.
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