5 Mindfulness Meditations to Master Your Emotions + Face Stress

Maybe you started yoga for exercise. Then, your mind shifts. Your stress lifts. You’re nicer for no particular reason. If only you could be on your sticky mat 24/7. That yoga glow never lasts long enough. There’s a pink slip at work, red ink on your child’s homework, or a blue mood you just can’t kick.

Wait, weren’t we talking about stress? Yep, all stress boils down to emotion. People seek therapy for overeating, relationship conflicts, money woes, and career crisis, but those are not the root issues at all. They’re simply manifestations of, you guessed it, emotions—usually misunderstood, stifled, or suppressed ones at that. And like yoga, mastering your emotions is an inside job.

The good news is when you confront your feelings, you can affect a top-to-bottom change in every aspect of life. We can be active participants in the experience.

Sit With Your Emotions Meditation
Oftentimes we run from uncomfortable feelings or push them away. So the best medicine can be to simply sit and experience them fully. This can spontaneously happen in our yoga practice. Or take a few minutes for a simple seated meditation with a focus on the emotions you’ve just identified. Cultivating a more intimate experience with emotions can discharge them, uniting you with the yogi within, both on and off the mat.

Acceptance Meditation
To take the recommended breather, try this meditation before you act. Sit with a straight spine and take some cleansing breaths. On the inhale say to yourself, “it is,” and on the exhale, “what it is.” Experiment with your own language, perhaps a Sanskrit mantra that soothes you. Instead of strong-arming the situation, allow it to be, then respond with a clear head.

Thought Diffusion Meditation
Allow anxious ruminations to float on by with one of these scenes, or another of your choosing.
Imagine your thoughts like clouds in the sky, drifting by above you.
Visualize a stream, with each thought a leaf sailing downstream.
Picture yourself driving down a roadway, whizzing past billboards emblazoned with your worries.

Dive Reflex Meditation
Here’s how: The idea is to dip your face in cool liquid, while holding your breath as long as you comfortably can. Fill a sink with cold water and dunking your face in it for a count of 30. If you don’t have a basin handy or that’s a bit drastic for you, use an ice pack, a bag of frozen peas or a wet washcloth on your forehead and nose. Inhale, hold, and feel the stress melt away.

Be Kind To Yourself Meditation
Acknowledge your suffering. Get centered and focus on feeling compassion for yourself, as you might a needy child. Connect to your breath and send yourself soothing messages: I am experiencing pain right now and I can handle this. I am strong. This shall pass. Fortify trust in yourself and in life. You could end with a wish. Let me accept this and allow my body to heal. Let me let go of this suffering. Let me find peace.

Master your stress with us and come schedule a class with us.

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