Meditation for Navigating Painful Emotions

When we are struggling with addictions, one of the hardest things we’re dealing with is the abundance of painful emotions we feel on a regular basis. We react to our emotions in unhealthy and self-destructive ways rather than choosing healthy coping mechanisms. Many of us have lived through traumatic experiences which can influence us on a deep level, programming our subconscious minds to be destructive and limiting. Meditation is a powerful practice that helps us understand and manage our difficult emotions, allowing us to navigate them rather than letting them continue to bring us down.

Meditation is the practice of finding stillness within us, calming our thoughts, and creating an openness and space in our minds. When we are under stress, depressed and struggling with our addictions, our minds are very often overactive. We suffer from overwhelming, racing thoughts that inundate us with anxiety. Our thoughts can make us feel desperate and hopeless. Meditation allows us to move past our thoughts and into the space of our hearts, souls and spirits. It allows us to connect with our inner self, our intuition, and our higher power. It is in this space that we can access a deeper truth that our thoughts often block.

Finding this deeper part of ourselves helps us to manage our emotions because we start to see them as transient and changeable. They don’t have to control us. Meditation allows us to see that we can direct our thoughts and therefore our feelings in ways that help us rather than hurt us.

There is no perfect way to meditate, and it is a misconception that to meditate properly is to stop your mind from thinking altogether. The goal is to create more calm within us. We can do this by focusing on our breathing, bringing our attention back to our breath when our mind wanders. We can also repeat affirmations that help us to cultivate a sense of inner peace. This allows us to confront our painful emotions with more calm rather than reacting with panic, which can often exacerbate our pain. Affirmations you can try for handling difficult emotions such as anxiety, sadness and overwhelm are:

I will get through this

This too shall pass

I am at peace

I am calm

I am strong

I am brave

The more we repeat these affirmations, the more we empower ourselves to handle our painful emotions rather than letting them derail us.

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