Acceptance of Your Feelings at Work
Feelings at work are the physical sensations or perceived physical sensations associated with emotions. Both mental and physical stimuli can lead to feelings. While, our mind is conditioned over years to feel a certain way in response to a certain stimulus, we are not our feelings! By experiencing feelings mindfully, we can start understanding feelings for what they are!
Our feelings most arise from our learned behavior, or if we were to place them on a timeline, most often, from the past, in the form of happiness or pain and from the future in the form of Fear , Anxiety or Joy based on Fantasy or dreams. When we are mindful culture enough to stay in the present moment and be able to observe our thoughts, emotions and feelings, we develop the ability to disassociate ourselves and view these cycles and thus choose to react or respond optimally.
Let’s consider meeting someone at work, who is well known to be a bully and a harsh dictatorial leader. When you see this person, you begin to create this image in your mind, based on learned information, which will cause you to connect and communicate with fear, defence and anxiety . That’s the immediate feelings beginning to form. But if you mindfully observe yourself, and choose to clear away all judgement, you can connect with kindness and calm, with clear and open communication and lead the situation to a completely different set of outcomes.
Once we see the true nature of feelings, we become more detached and less reactive to whatever feelings arise. It is an exercise in letting go…
Just as we are aware of our thoughts, we can choose to be aware of our feelings too. Let’s slow down, and pause, when feelings arise. Let’s become aware, and centre ourselves with what we are feeling. Love your feeling, accept it for what it is, and then choose to let it go. At first this is difficult to achieve, but with time , our hearts open and our minds become less of a mystery.
Philip L Jones, shares a simple contemplative practice to achieve calmness in the face of challenging emotions.
Instructions for the Mindfulness of Feeling
- Begin your meditation as previously instructed using the breath as the primary object of meditation.
- If a sensation or experience in the body is strong enough to pull your attention away from the breath, allow your awareness to rest in that sensation.
- Notice whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
- As different experiences become predominant in your awareness, continue to notice the feeling quality of each experience, and your reaction to it such as holding on, pushing away or becoming bored.
- As you meditate with the feeling quality of experience, notice whether it is something that lasts, or whether it is something that comes into awareness, is present for a while and then dissipates.
- If you become lost in thought or sensations, when you notice it look back at the thought or sensation to see whether it was pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. This will help to reveal how the mind gets caught in reacting to the feeling-tone of an object of experience. Then, gently return your attention to the breath and continue with the instructions above.
- If you ever feel confused about what you are experiencing or what you should do, simply return your attention to the breath.
- Continue with the practice of mindfulness of feeling until your meditation period is over.
- After your period of meditation, you may find it useful to reflect on what you have noticed about your experience. Here are some questions to explore as you reflect on your experience. Does every moment of your experience have a feeling-tone, either pleasant, unpleasant or neutral? Is there actually a tendency to hold onto the pleasant, to push away the unpleasant and to be bored by the neutral? If you bring mindfulness to a pleasant experience does it last or does it come into awareness and then leave? How about unpleasant experiences and neutral ones?
- During the day, spend some time noticing the feeling tone of your experiences and how you react to them.