Negative emotions have a way of taking over your mind. They creep up on you and control you. They completely debilitate your mind and cause so much damage to your body as well. Most of the crises we face with our body from time to time is said to be a result of negative emotions that we store up, or in many cases, don’t even know they exist. A good place to start is by acknowledging that we all experience negative emotions on a daily basis. Take today for example – what negative emotions did you feel? Did you feel angry, upset, disappointed…….? The list is endless. Take a moment to feel the feeling, I mean, really feel it. Now if you have identified the feeling, accept it without making judgments about it. “Yes, I did feel angry this morning when……… and it is okay that I felt that way, I accept myself in light of that emotion” this acceptance in itself will bring about a huge sense of relief. Most of the time we deny ever having felt bad or negative about things.
During my years as a yoga trainee, I was always reminded by my mentor, that my breath is my best friend. So I have depended, and quite successfully too, on my breath for managing my emotions, especially the disruptive ones or even to fall asleep, on occasion. Say for example, when I am getting ready to sleep at night, I lay down and go through the events of the day, sometimes consciously and often, unconsciously. There will suddenly be a surge of emotion and if I trace it back to the thought that led to it, I will realize that there were incidents during the day that made me feel bad. And since I did not deal with them right away, they stayed with me for the rest of the day and came out of hiding in the night. All at once, I am confronted with the memory of the incident, the emotion attached to it and the feeling in some part of my body, maybe gut, that is unpleasant, to say nothing of being unable to fall asleep. This is a wonderful opportunity presented to my by my body and mind, to resolve emotions that I had left unattended.
I first accept the feeling, knowing full well that the incident does not exist anymore. Whatever it was that happened, is now only a few fragments of images held together by my own anger or sadness. I begin to breathe with awareness. Breathing in, breathing out, I slowly let the energy of my breath sink into the feeling. I let the energy of my breath go into my gut and release the physical discomfort that I am holding there. I do this for a few rounds. I can feel the emotion dissolving, and I am drifting into and out of my waking state. The breath awareness has taken me into the alpha state of brain waves, and I am sinking into a deep relaxed sleep. But what is important here is that I have resolved a conflict or an issue from today, and fallen asleep without carrying it over into the next day. I have let go of baggage that I did not need to carry into tomorrow.
This is a simple infuse-your-emotions-with-your-breathe technique that helps you lighten your load before you sleep and makes your body feel lighter as well. Gradually you will reach a point when you will start to become aware of your negative emotions, as they arise, not many hours or days later. That is the gift of awareness, the promise of a good and regular practice of conscious breathing. Your breath is indeed your best friend. Keep it close to you and be happy. Happy breathing!