I have been practicing mindfulness for a number of years and people assume that it is because it helps me to relax and it helps me get rid of negative emotions. That has not been my experience.
When I meditate there are times I feel more relaxed… but there are times I don’t.
Mindfulness has helped me to understand that negative emotions are not something to be got rid of. I have learned they provide me with valuable information that I am then able to work with. Mindfulness meditation is simply a practice I use to help me to better understand myself, others and the world around me. Mindfulness also helps me to connect with other people and to focus my energy and resources on what really matters.
I still get anxious and stressed but it is how I work with these emotions that has a beneficial impact upon the quality of my life, my relationships with others and how well I perform. Mindfulness has helped me to recognise and understand that my thoughts and emotions are not problems but it is how I react to them that can create difficulties. Mindfulness helps me to work with what it is I need when I am stressed or anxious e.g. time outside, getting more sleep or simply making the time having a cup of coffee with a friend.