Life’s messy. Each day we face situations, people and related emotions that affect us in various ways. It’s not unusual for these effects to sometimes be negative. These feelings can quite intense and difficult to deal with, sending us into a spiral that is detrimental to our lives. Even if you’re naturally a reactive and feelings-driven person, you can take control of your emotions through daily meditation. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.
Effects of Meditation
No matter the type of meditation, this focused, regular practice can make a difference on the way your handle your emotions. Mindfulness, breathing, guided imagery or other type of meditating can all help you to regulate your internal response system in a way that lets you be in control when outside forces swoop in to throw you for a loop. Mindfulness meditation can be particularly helpful to increasing self-awareness and objectivity. You’ll soon discover that you feel less inclined to blame yourself during times of conflict and that you can look at things more objectively. This enhanced perception lets you be more in control of your emotions, for sure. Meditation can also teach you to sift through your feelings in order to better identify them. You’re in charge when you can recognize your emotions.
Changes to Brain Function and Structure
You may be wondering how it is that meditation has this kind of positive effect on emotions. There have been scientific studies to demonstrate these effects. Studies point to several ways in which meditation can help to control emotions. Measurement of brain waves through EEG indicated that participants who practiced mindfulness experienced significant response in the emotional portion of the brain than those who didn’t when exposed to disturbing stimuli like graphic photographs. Those who were determined to be naturally mindful weren’t affected in ways than were different from participants who weren’t naturally inclined to be mindful. Another study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that these types of effects are long-lasting and cumulative.
Resiliency is the ability to bounce back and to return to an emotionally healthy state after an emotionally distressing event occurs. When you develop this trait, you’ll find that life is less stressful. You’re no longer at the mercy of your circumstances. Meditation provides you with the tools to recover from adversity. Your ability to be in the moment will let you focus on what’s important then and there, instead of ruminating on past or future events. Resilient people tend to possess higher levels of emotional intelligence.
It’s difficult to not allow our emotions to take over sometimes. Events that are hurtful, scary or upsetting happen and they can rock our world. However, science and anecdotal evidence throughout the ages has shown us that those who meditate experience greater management of their feelings. It’s worth a try if you’re hoping to gain control over your emotions.