Two weeks ago, I felt stressed out and anxious without any apparent reason. I was sitting still and feeling the outburst of negative emotions boiling inside my stomach. But, that night was different because for the first time I did something that changed my life entirely.
Instead of panicking, I decided to step out of my body and watch myself as if I was someone else. I honestly described to myself what I was feeling. I described how I felt like there is a knot in my stomach and it hurts me because I can’t get it out. I described how I felt the hotness of the anger going up to my chest and consuming it entirely, leaving me breathless.
Then, a wonderful thing happened. I felt better. I wasn’t angry or anxious anymore.
During that moment of full consciousness, I wasn’t only feeling my emotions; I was observing them. Most importantly, I didn’t feel sorry for myself or judged myself for feeling that way. For the first time I observed my emotions separate from me, and a little voice inside me whispered: “those negative emotions are not you.”
It was so calming. So soothing. And even though those emotions still appear from time to time, I no longer let them define me or rule my life. I am finally free.
If you are battling with anger and anxiety, here is my advice for you. Next time you feel overwhelmed and frustrated, take a deep breath and let yourself feel the frustration and anger. Then, step aside and take a look as an outsider. Observe the things you are saying to yourself and tell yourself that you are not those things.
Be an observer. Most of what you do is a pattern, a repetition of things you were always doing. Therefore, start identifying less with what your mind is telling you and more of what it is really happening. Most importantly, don’t judge yourself and stop taking you negative feelings so seriously.
And remember: Your emotions are not you. They don’t define you.