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Showing posts from February, 2015

Being with Difficult Emotions Without Avoidance

Emotions at their core are physical sensations in the body, coupled with shifting levels of mental energy in the mind (tired, fixated or energetic states awareness).  So anxiety may be felt as a clenching in the abdomen, along with a mind that edgily jumps from external awareness to internal fantasies, back and forth. In the case of strong emotions, such as anger or grief, we tend to seek shelter from the storm of physical sensations, which can be quite overwhelming, by focusing primarily on thoughts that divert our attention; during times of anger we may avoid the physical experience by losing ourselves in repeating the stories of outrage. Ironically, in focusing on mental content we tend to trigger, again and again, the very physical sensations we are attempting to avoid. For example, in panic attacks we strive to distract ourselves from the racing heartbeats by listening to the dire thoughts the mind conjures; these ideas only reactivate the panic. When we are capable of feeling what…