How to Manage Your Feelings
If you are feeling angry, depressed, confused, and/or frustrated by the recent terrorist act, violence and tragedy on U.S. soil perpetrated against our citizens, then you are in the majority of what most Americans are experiencing.
Face Your Grief
Coming to terms with what we’re feeling means to face a sense of grief. Russell Friedman, executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute, defines grief as the “conflicting feeling caused by a change or an end in a familiar pattern or behavior.” As Americans, we’ve been fortunate in that mass murders have not been commonplace, nor even intermittent. Over the past two decades, however, and most notably, this last incident of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, has caused us, as a nation, to grieve. Grief isn’t limited to the death of a loved one; it encompasses a great absence, which can include the loss of values, safety, and even a time when “humanity was kinder.”
The Power of Practice
At its core, grief is overwhelming sadness. It may reveal itself (depending on the stage) as anger, fear, loneliness, depression, and despair. One suggestion by many grief counselors is to experiment with meditation. The first step is to try and identify the emotion(s) you’re feeling. The idea is that meditation can help you loosen the grip and begin to bring resolution to your grief.
By no means should you attempt to invalidate your feelings or the actions and responsibility of others? But, we can try to reframe our own negative thoughts into solutions for a more positive world—and that begins with a more loving, kind, forgiving and positive us. Sharon Salzberg offers a guided, mindful meditation to help cope with a tragedy. Here are some of its elements:
“Sit comfortably, close your eyes or not, however, you feel most comfortable, let your energy settle into your body. You can gently repeat phrases of loving-kindness, such as, “May all beings, including myself, be safe. May all have ease of heart.” Or choose another one that you’d like to focus on that emphasizes positivity and light.
You don’t have to try to force a special feeling; the power of the practice is completely present behind one phrase at a time, and coming back to the phrase once you’ve been distracted. In connecting to the phrases, we’re opening ourselves to the possibility of including rather than excluding, of connecting, rather than overlooking, of caring, rather than either being indifferent or overcome by fear.
When you feel ready to end the meditation, you can open your eyes or lift your gaze. See what your body feels like. And see if you can bring some of this sensibility into your day.”
Another helpful article on meditation can be found here. And for more articles about how we can create a more positive lifestyle and the world, check out www.GetThrive.com