Having big emotions these days? Big thoughts and feelings that are keeping you up at night, tossing and turning?
You are not alone.
Which is why we are thrilled to share the following two meditations that help process big emotions from Courtney E. Ackerman’s latest book, Midnight Meditations.
In her book she shares 150 zen-inducing yet simple self-guided meditations that will help you calm your racing thoughts, stop chasing sleep, and start receiving an undisturbed night’s rest so you can make the most of your days.
Two of our favorite meditations from her book focus on processing emotions — both through accepting and understanding exactly what you’re feeling and why. And, those are the ones we’re sharing with you today.
Now, let’s get into the two meditations that will you to better accept and understand your emotions from this beautiful new book …
By Courtney E. Ackerman
Acceptance can help you let go of that which you don’t need and fully relax, allowing you to drift off to a peaceful sleep. Follow this meditation to practice accepting your emotions:
- First, identify and label your emotions. Understand what feelings you’re working with.
- Take a few moments to simply sit with one of your main feelings. Let it wash over you, sink into you, soak into your core. Get friendly with it.
- Visualize the emotion. What does it look like? Does it look like a person? An animal? Just an abstract mix of shapes? However it looks, hold it in your mind’s eye.
- Face toward this visualization of your emotion and address it. Hold your hands up, palms open, and say, “I accept you.” You can say it out loud if that helps. You can also imagine embracing the emotion.
- Let the visualization melt away, accepting it as a part of your current experience.
At times, you may need to fight your demons in order to rest easy. At other times, you may just need to embrace and accept them as they are to allow yourself to relax.
By Courtney E. Ackerman
If you have a good idea of how you’re feeling but don’t understand why, that confusion might be keeping your brain too busy to sleep. Use this meditation to figure out where your feelings are coming from:
- Close your eyes and sit with your emotions for a moment. Figure out what emotion is primary right now. Make sure you have a good handle on the strongest emotion you’re feeling.
- Imagine a thread attached to the emotion you’re feeling. You can see where the string is attached to the feeling, but you can’t see where the rest of the string goes yet. Pick up the thread.
- See yourself pulling on this thread, using one hand after the other, to discover more and more of its length. Stay present with your emotion while you do.
- Follow it long enough, and you will start to see things pop up along this thread that fed into your emotion; for example, you might see a fight you recently had with your spouse or an incident with a friend. Let these things come up, acknowledge them, and keep pulling the thread. Go all the way until you reach the source: the root of your current emotion.
Sometimes all we need is to figure out where our feelings are coming from to let them go and let ourselves rest.
Excerpted from Midnight Meditations by Courtney E. Ackerman. Copyright © 2021 by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Used with permission of the publisher, Adams Media, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved.