Mindful Morning Matcha With Your Feelings
Feelings are part of what makes us human. They serve a purpose and can be considered as our inner GPS or guidance system. Because of the nature of life, we will experience both pleasant feelings, such as happiness or love, as well as more uncomfortable ones, such as anxiety or fear.
It is in the nature of human beings to seek pleasure and to avoid pain, and it is our common tendency to try and avoid or suppress what we tend to refer to as negative feelings. Although these attempts might relieve the pain in the short term, these feelings will show up in the long term with more intensity and often create greater pain.
Below you will find my “TEA” practice, inspired by Eastern traditions, that will support you in navigating all types of feelings with more ease. It invites you to befriend your feelings and metaphorically “have tea” with them.
The acronym “TEA” will help you remember the practice.
This first step involves bringing an attitude of gratitude to the feeling you are experiencing and thanking it for being there, acknowledging it is trying to tell you something and to serve as your guide.
The next step involves bringing a curious attitude towards the feeling and exploring what it might be trying to reveal to you. All feelings serve a survival function and can guide your future actions. Anger, for instance, often indicates that someone has crossed a boundary. On the other hand, fear can protect you from danger, while gratitude allows you to appreciate an act of kindness from someone or to realize what you most value in your life.
This last step involves attending to the underlying needs this feeling might be pointing you to. Just as you would care for a baby, this practice involves paying attention to what you might need, in the moment, with a loving and compassionate attitude. If you are feeling sad, you might need to cry or call a loved one, if you are angry, you might need to have a conversation with the person who crossed a boundary.
Through this practice of externalizing your feelings and treating them as third party friends, you can become aware of them, and you can avoid identifying with them. This allows you to gain a more detached and clearer perspective on them, and you will be able to act in a more conscious and adaptive way. You will not fall into reactive and maladaptive patterns which are simply knee-jerk reactions.
Remember you can’t selectively numb feelings so if you try and escape the negative ones, you will also risk not experiencing the more positive ones. I encourage you to try this practice in order to live a full and rich life.
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