We all have moments in our lives when we get emotionally triggered. Particular events or life experiences may occur that trigger us deeply and emotionally. These triggers may give rise to different emotions in each of us. Some of us may experience anger or frustration, while others may find our emotionally charged home in fear, worry, and stress. Today, I want to talk about returning to the place of love, peace, and joy that is our true nature, especially in those moments that we get emotionally charged. In today’s blog, I will offer you insights into these emotional patterns. I will also offer you 2 simple practices to help you return to that place of love when you are in an emotionally triggered experience.
Gabby Bernstein, spiritual activist and NY Times Best-Selling Author, talks about this idea of coming back to that place of love quicker. She describes that no matter how long we have been on this path of spiritual and personal development, no matter how advanced in our practices, we all still experience a similar range of emotions. The only difference being that our practices help us return to that place of love quicker, so that we don’t dwell in those highly charged emotional states.
Tony Robbins talks about a similar concept that he describes as living in a beautiful state. He describes his own practice of the 90-second rule that whenever an unresourceful emotion arises, he allows himself to fully experience that emotion for 90-seconds only. After that time, he shifts his focus back to his beautiful state. In other words, living as much as possible each day in that space of true nature, of love and gratitude. For many of us, especially just starting out, it may take much longer than 90 seconds to return to that beautiful state! I know this is the case for me, that when I am really caught up in an emotionally charged reaction, it often takes me longer than 90 seconds to return to my center. This is why it is a practice. I am committed to engaging in this practice, and I invite you to as well!
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali also talk about a similar idea called Pratipaksha Bhavana. This Sutra states that as soon as a negative thought arises in the mind, replace it just as quickly with a positive thought. Practicing this concept, as soon as a negative thought, emotion, feeling arises within us, just as quickly we return our focus to something positive - to something that more fully represents our true nature of love, peace, joy and interconnectedness. The Bhagavad Gita talks about being alike in hot and cold, in pleasure and pain. So, whether hot or cold, whether experiencing pleasure or pain, the Gita guides us to essentially find our beautiful state.
So, how can we do this? How can we return to that place of love when we are caught up in emotional reactions? Well, today I want to give you 2 simple practices that I use very often in my life. I find these practices to be incredibly powerful, effective, and universally applicable.
1.Gratitude Practice So, the first is gratitude practice. If you've been following along on my blogs, you know I talk about gratitude practice quite often. Gratitude is such a powerful practice because when we are deeply in a state of gratitude, we cannot feel fear, stress, or worry. The light of gratitude dispels the darkness of negative emotional reactions.
How can we use this gratitude practice during emotional reactions? When caught up in an emotional reaction, we would first need to pause and be aware of the reaction itself. In this moment of awareness, we are not judging ourselves, rather we are simply being aware and accepting the moment for what it holds. Then, we make a decision. We choose to not stay in that emotional reaction. We know that the emotional reaction does not define us; rather, it is simply an experience we are having in the moment. Then, can we find something to be grateful for? Can we pause, widen our perspective, look around, and find one thing to be grateful for? And, then, can we allow ourselves to experience this feeling of gratitude fully, deeply, and entirely?
2.Heart-Centered Breath Practice A heart-centered breath practice is simply this: Place your hands over your spiritual heart center. Close your eyes. Breathe into that space, following your breath from your nostrils down to your heart center and up again. Breathing deeply into this space that energetically holds love, forgiveness, and compassion. Practice for 5-10 breaths, or longer
Let me know your thoughts. If you decide to try out any of these practices, then please let me know how they're working out for you by leaving a comment below!