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Measuring Your Emotions

intensityWe can manage stress by learning how to bring ourselves out of intense emotions (see link below to post about stress). Whether we like the feelings we experience or not, we need to be careful about how our feelings impact our stress levels. If we experience strong emotions for a long enough time, we may be so off balance that only focusing on peace and serenity can correct us. You may think specific emotions are the culprit, but it may be intensity of any kind that really throws us off.

Emotions: Good or Bad

I don’t think emotions are really about good or bad. They are just the way we experience life. Sometimes we feel fear and other times, we embrace hope. Sometimes we feel joy and other times we get brought down by grief. Sometimes we feel ashamed and other times we have a firm sense of pride. Sometimes we feel love and other times we surge with anger. All of these emotions (and the myriad others) play a role in our life experience and can’t easily be categorized as absolutely good or bad.

Intensity as a Source of Stress

What’s more important than the specific kind of emotion we feel is how intensely we feel it. Any of the emotions we feel can be helpful in smaller doses and harmful in more extreme doses. Anger can be as subtle as frustration and as devastating as rage. Pride can be as affirming as confidence and as threatening as arrogance. Love can be as helpful as appreciation or as alarming as obsession. Hope can be as sustaining as optimism or as misleading a wishfulness. Any emotion in the more extreme form can drive us off course through the stress is creates. It is important that we recognize this as much as we want to recognize any specific emotion.

Serenity Is at the Middle

Although we never truly turn off our emotions, serenity (which may be thought of as peace) is at the center of it all. When we meditate to help bring ourselves closer to a sense of serenity, we’re helping ourselves let go of life in order to reduce to pressure on our feelings as much as anything else. Meditation let’s us focus on stillness in a way that life may not be able to. This stillness is the very opposite of intense emotion that pulls us off center. Anytime we feel less centered, we need not seek a different emotion. We may simply need to seek that sense of serenity and peace that allows us to let go entirely and reset our hearts.

Stress: The Threat to Serenity – Read more

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