November 1, 2016

Emotional Regulation

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:00 pm by kellyfdennis

kelly-number-oneThere is one book in my library I keep coming back to and reading again. It’s just so chock full of good stuff that I can’t seem to get it all in one reading. The title is Wherever You Go, There You Are by John, Kabat-Zinn. I found myself rereading it during a very windy, rainy, chilly beach vacation. One of the concepts that popped out at me this time was the idea of using mindfulness as a way to help manage emotions. Now if you are a client of mine, you know this in itself is not big news, I talk about that all the time. However, I really connected this time with the way he explained it.

We can think of our mindful awareness sort of like a cooking pot, our emotions are the food inside the pot. We have the choice to pay no attention and allow the food to burn, or to remain cold, or to not add the appropriate ingredients at the right time and turn into something awful! Or we can pay attention to the food in the pot and increase or decrease the temperature as needed, taste occasionally and add ingredients as needed and have something that is useful, tasty, and good for us at the end.

Mindfulness (the pot) sees the emotions; knows the depth of the emotion; is larger than the emotion, so therefore, it can contain it. The “pot” of mindfulness helps us cradle the emotion and look (cook) at it, figure out what it needs, so we can cook it and use it effectively.We can change from just automatically reacting to the emotion by becoming aware of it and “digesting” it to get what we need from it.

Fascinating, huh!? So, what’s in your pot today? Anger, sadness, frustration, confusion, guilt. Whatever you’re feeling, see if you can be mindful of it, hold it, look at it and see what it’s trying to tell you and then what you need to do with it. Just another awesome way to use mindfulness!


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ponderings on life, food, God, and love

Grace on the Moon

Do Not Weigh Your Self-Esteem on a Scale

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