Kavita Pandit’s wonderful guest blog describing her two simple secrets for managing stressful emotions is presented here (1). I received this through her husband Hunaid Qadir who practices ‘Meditation on Breathing’. Published with her permission.
1. Re-grounding after experiencing an intense emotional reaction
We all occasionally face situations that cause us to experience intense anger, frustration, fear, or even humiliation. These situations can often be debilitating — everything else flees the mind and one becomes fixated on the issue causing this intense reaction. At such times I find it useful to temporarily separate myself mentally from my physical reactions. I do this by taking a survey or stock of my body. I observe my heightened heart palpitations, the flushing of my face, and heavier breathing. I may note that my fists are clenched or that I have stopped noticing what is going on around me. The very act of taking stock like this helps get me back to my previous mental state, and the disruption caused by the emotional reaction passes in minutes rather than hours.
2. Observing the world through a child’s eyes
How often has this happened to you? You go out for a walk on a pleasant day but your mind is so caught up in the events of the past or the future that you return from the walk and don’t remember anything about it. Your body has had the experience of the walk but your mind was somewhere else! Yet have you ever observed children playing outdoors? They are completely in the moment and their senses are fully attuned to even minute details of their surroundings. So now when I go out for a walk and my mind tries to drift I bring it back by asking “what would a child observe on this walk”? And amazingly I see the caterpillar on the ground, the bird’s nest, a flashy car driving by, or the lights coming on in the skyscrapers in the distance. No matter how trivial the observation it brings one into the magical moment!
(1) Kavita Pandit
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