Mastering Emotional Regulation through Meditation
Emotional regulation is the skill we build so that our emotional responses are appropriate and proportional to whatever has triggered them. This is part of my meditation training. The stress and anxiety management training enables us to manage day-to-day emotional responses. This should be an integral part of any helpful meditation training.
The Culture of Emotional Suppression
Emotional release deals with emotions we've bottled up. Our culture expects us to hide our feelings. Being 'stoic' or 'tough' is admired. The underlying message is that showing emotion is a form of weakness. We're are advised to distract ourselves, to "keep ourselves busy" if we experience a trauma, loss or adversity. Following this advice can temporarily reduce the intensity of uncomfortable emotions, leading us to believe that we are resilient. We feel 'strong' and that we can 'cope with anything'.
The Pitfall of the 'Emotional Dustbin'
I used to describe this as having an "emotional dustbin". I thought I could set aside any challenging emotions and just keep going. But ignoring emotions doesn't make them go away. If our body doesn't experience and process a difficult emotion from a traumatic event, it stays with us. Unaddressed emotions pile up. It is common for people to go through their lives accumulating emotional baggage.
The Risks of Emotional Baggage and Leakage
As the burden of unprocessed emotions grows, the person will become increasingly more fragile and sensitive to emotional triggers. This sensitivity to 'little things' is known as 'emotional leakage'. Left to its own devices, and on a long enough timeline, this will eventually result in 'emotional overwhelm'.
The Isolating Effects of Emotional Overwhelm
Emotional overwhelm is where choices are almost entirely driven by unprocessed emotions. It is not unusual for people become hermits, effectively withdrawing from society or becoming super-avoidant of interacting with others as they have become so easily triggered or offended.
The Healing Power of Emotional Release
Emotional release is the process that allows us to finally release suppressed emotions. Once a suppressed emotion is released, it is gone forever.
Emotional release is what I teach in the Loving Awareness Workshop.