Just Rolling with the Full Range of Emotions

Two aspects of Sharon Salzberg’s 2016 Real Happiness meditation challenge hit close to home for me this week. The first is experiencing and staying open to a full range of emotions. This includes the unpleasant emotions. The second is taking time to let the positive emotions sink into my consciousness.

I tried to suppress and numb myself to unpleasant emotions for a long time. Fear is a big one on my journey as an entrepreneur. I used to look at fear as a weakness. I’d numb myself to it, usually by having a few drinks at the end of a stressful day. I’d numb myself a bit more, with a few more drinks, at the end of a stressful week.

I wouldn’t admit to myself I was afraid. I was and still am afraid of the uncertainty inherent in an entrepreneur’s life. Today I try and embrace that fear. Now I try and work with that fear to make me a more successful entrepreneur.

I can also relate to focusing on the negative and letting the positive rush past. I’m working to change it by acknowledging the good when it happens. I try and give the good experiences and positive emotions time to sink into my consciousness.

The Stigma personal journaling app has been helpful to me in this regard. The image at the beginning of this post is a word cloud the app generates. It shows my positive emotions and associated experiences.

The word cloud is an inspiring and positive visual reminder of the positive things in my life. I try and refer to it on a daily basis.

I also have a daily gratitude journaling habit. I use the 5 Minute Journal to write down 3 things I’m grateful for each morning. The 5 Minute Journal also prompts me to write down 3 amazing things that happened each day.

Focusing on positive emotions makes it easier to embrace the fear I experience. Letting the positive sink into my consciousness counterbalances our mind’s negativity bias. Focusing on the positive each evening helps me sleep better. Doing the same each morning helps motivate me for a new day with new opportunities.

This post was first published on Sharon Salzberg’s blog. You can find all my writing for the Real Happiness Meditation challenge here.

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