Mindfulness is a powerful technique for helping individuals develop a healthier relationship with their emotions. Unfortunately, many individuals have fallen under the misunderstanding that practicing mindfulness means they will be completely at peace at all times. Then, when this doesn’t occur, they become more upset or believe that mindfulness doesn’t work.
To combat this, we must first understand what mindfulness really is. Mindfulness is, essentially, the ability to experience your emotions fully without feeling controlled by those emotions. Mindfulness allows you to observe your emotions without “feeling like those emotions are so unbearable that you have to engage in dysregulated behavior (substance use, overeating, self-injury, etc) to ‘turn them off.’”In other words, mindfulness does not cause us to “stop feeling” and always be in a state of peace. If this were the case, mindfulness would in some ways be detrimental since emotions are there to help us function. For example, “Anger helps us stand up for ourselves and motivates us to fight against injustice.” Instead, mindfulness, particularly when practice with a mental-health professional, “can help anger and other emotions feel more tolerable and easier to manage so you are less likely to feel controlled by your emotions.”
For more information on how to experience your emotions through mindfulness check out Calming The Emotional Storm