Handling Emotions (Either Sad Or Happy Ones)

Usually people lose themselves in a strong emotion and become overwhelmed. That is not the way to handle emotion, because when that happens you are a victim of emotion. In order not to become a victim, breathe and retain your calm, and you will experience the insight that an emotion is only an emotion, nothing more.

This insight is very important, because then you are no longer afraid. You are calm, you are not trying to run away, and you can deal better with emotion. Your breath is you, and you need alliance with your breath to be more of yourself, to be stronger. Then you can handle your emotion better.

You do not try to forget your emotion; instead you try to be more of yourself, so that you are solid enough to deal with it. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
lanie2013 lanie2013
31-35, F
2 Responses Feb 8, 2013

Thich Nhat Hanh is my teacher, my Buddha incarnate. I'm glad you put the source so that people can look him up, as just telling someone to breathe...who has no idea about what goes with it....can seem like..."well how can breath help deal with strong emotions?"
If they read Thay's teachings (in his books on mindfulness) they can learn how to breathe mindfully the whole day long, as well as in sitting and walking meditation. Also one needs to "look deeply" into the emotions and thoughts one is having. I find this is best done as part of practicing the five skandas after sitting meditation, though I fell off the wagon with this, and now just getting back to it, though I practice mindfulness and breathing throughout the day.
After breathing mindfully, only 3-5 breaths is needed, one then looks deeply into the source of the emotion. It's amazing how we can find answers to the cause, and sometimes the solution, though it may be painful, and is really best done with a sangha. Well, I could go on about this, but will end it here as my comment is long enough.

Thay is such a wonderful teacer for me, too. I'm learning a lot from him. I do meditation as well. But I'm starting and not an expert on it. It calms me. Yes, I agree that a sangha helps a lot. lol!@long comment. I appreciate thoughts, my friend. Thank you for dropping by! Amituofo!

Thanks for your reply, Lanie. I am also a novice lay practitioner of mindfulness and Buddhist. Is Amituofo a greeting like Namaste?

Yes. It means I bow down to (the buddha) you. :)

Thank you - I need to be reminded of this - and you have just reminded me.x

You're welcome! :) Have a blessed day! :)

Thank you. X