As strange as it may seem, the emotional world is one of the areas in which Buddhism and Western psychology tend to have some elements in common.
In both approaches, for example, we understand that exploring our emotions, especially negative ones, offers us an important path to self-knowledge. This can help us to improve ourselves and walk a more correct path with greater integrity. If we pay attention to them, we won’t only improve our physical and psychological health, we’ll also develop a much deeper understanding of our true nature.
In addition, it’s interesting to note that strategies like meditation are already included in many types of therapies. It’s a very effective way to manage two common enemies in our daily lives: stress and anxiety.
In this article, we propose that you reflect on 3 key aspects of Buddhism to discover and learn from your emotions.
1. Attachment to suffering or the freedom to be happy: you choose
On our path of seeking greater freedom and wisdom, psychology normally encourages us to recognize our feelings.
It also encourages us to remember our past and present stories to give them meaning and be able to face them through therapy.
For its part, Buddhism takes a different approach: it encourages us to “moderate” and “silence” our negative emotions through the practice of inner dialogue and meditation.
In addition, Buddhism offers us the understanding that we sometimes make grave mistakes in our approach. For example, many of us believe that happiness is somewhere outside of us in a person, a place, or a possession. However, this type of materialism or attachment to what is out of our hands actually leads us to unhappiness.
Authentic well-being is not “out there,” but rather is found in our inner balance. We can discover it in our state of mind through calm, balance and self-acceptance.
Practicing un-attachment in our daily lives is an ideal strategy to regulate our emotions.
When we “deactivate” our obsession with complaining about all that we’re lacking, we don’t have or we should have, we can open our eyes to what we already truly have. This is our ability to be happy with what we are and what we already have.
2. The cultivation of patience and love in Buddhism
We live in a world based on immediacy. Here, stimuli of all types are abundant.
For example, the world of new technology gives us the sensation that everything should happen instantly.
We think must respond to messages as soon as possible. Plus, all we have to do is upload an image or a comment to receive the positive reinforcement in the form of “likes” just seconds later.
However, life doesn’t think this way. Life progresses at its own rhythm. Strong relationships are built on the magic of day-to-day living, patience, respect and serene, wise affection.
If we learn to be more patient, emotions like anger, jealousy, rage and frustration will be calmed.
Dimensions like anxiety and stress are born precisely from this pressure for immediacy. They come from the fear of tomorrow and the need to advance towards a future that hasn’t yet happened.
Let’s learn to embrace the present through patience.
Read also: 5 Exercises for Managing Anxiety
3. The importance of deactivating your ego
We all know one of those people who always seems to be angry with the world.
They are the ones for whom nothing is OK. Nothing meets their expectations and nothing is up to their moral, emotional or psychological standards.
They set such a high bar and have such a big ego that the whole world seems small to them. Worse still, it seems to turn against them.
This kind of approach to life creates immense suffering and the clear feeling that we’re alone in this world.
It’s not easy to deactivate the ego. This is for a very concrete reason: we can recognize it easily in others, but we don’t have a self-detector to see it in ourselves.
Take note of these simple strategies that will help you identify, manage and calm it:
- First of all, become aware of how your actions and words affect others.
- Then, identify your limitations, your errors and your weaknesses.
- Understand that others are not obliged to be how you expect them to be, to do what you want or to satisfy your needs…
- Don’t expect anything from others. Rather, simply expect things from yourself. That way, you will live with greater balance and calm.
- As well as learning to recognize your limitations, also learn to see the good in all the people around you.
In conclusion, the pillars of Buddhism offer us a very enriching approach when it comes to channeling our emotions.
One of their greatest purposes is to favor improved self-knowledge in which we understand that the responsibility to be happy lies with us alone.
Start working on yourself today!