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PodcastMindfully Managing Emotions

Mindfully Managing Emotions

Dive into mindful emotion management, exploring Dr. Dan Seigel's "Name It to Tame It" technique. Discover how Noting can foster emotional balance.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

(mouse clicks) (soft music) Headspace Studios. (soft music) Hi, it's Eve here. Welcome back to "Radio Headspace" and to Tuesday. In yesterday's episode, I talked about the difference between emotions and feelings and how mindfulness can help us better understand and differentiate between the two. Today I wanted to dive a little deeper into how we can mindfully manage our emotions and feelings. Sometimes it can be hard to name an emotion or we may feel ashamed or guilty for feeling a certain way, but through the practice of mindfulness, we can learn ways to cultivate an open and non-judgmental way in navigating the emotional and feeling landscape that we operate in. Dr. Dan Siegel, who is a well-known and respected psychiatrist, writer, and professor at the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA developed a technique called Name It to Tame It, which is rooted in the mindfulness technique of noting, which essentially means naming our emotions and feelings. So much of the time, we get carried away by our emotions, our thoughts, and our feelings. In those situations, inviting some space, a moment to pause and to step back to actually note and name what is arising can make all the difference. I'll give you an example. A few weeks ago, I asked my husband to do something for me. The weekend arrived and he still hadn't done it. At first, I wasn't that annoyed, but as time went on, I started getting pretty frustrated, but instead of unleashing my anger and frustration, which would not have been helpful in that moment, I took some time to just note and name what was going on and how I was feeling. I noticed the physical sensations of my anger. My shoulders felt tense, my neck was sore, and my jaw was tight. I took some slow, deep breaths just to calm myself down and told myself that it was okay to feel angry and annoyed when you feel let down, and as I continued to follow my breath, when emotions or feelings or thoughts would arise that felt distracting or overwhelming, I would gently note them. Okay, this is anger. It feels pretty unpleasant. This is frustration, and I would return to my breath. It was in doing this that I was able to validate and recognize how I was feeling and why, and it provided some space for my body to calm down. After that, I went for a walk just to think through some ways to approach a conversation with my husband that would not result in a slanging match. This also meant that I was in control of my emotions and feelings versus being controlled by them. By doing this practice, I was also able to understand the range of my feelings and emotions, and what I mean by that is some feelings and emotions feel quieter than others. Looking back, I had started to feel quite disappointed days before that roaring anger surfaced. That could have...


Duration5 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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