When we are stressed-out, sad, anxious, irritated, or angry, we typically want those feelings to just disappear. This is natural. It can be difficult to sit with uncomfortable emotions, especially when we feel like there’s no way out. We might try to drown them out with Netflix, work, exercise, or Oreos. Or maybe we try to blast out the blues with positive affirmations or pep talks in the mirror.
And while some of these activities can be helpful at the moment, denying our feelings can actually make them more intense and negatively affect our physical and mental health. So how can we healthily face and release our emotions instead of sweeping them under the rug? One way is to practice mindfulness: the practice of becoming self-aware in the present moment.
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