navigate abandonment and loss |

August 29, 2018

Learning how to Smile from the Inside Out

Article Written by eM Life

The feelings of abandonment and loss played on repeat.

It was a week after the break-up and I was being advised by friends and family to get over it. I experienced a mix of feelings during that time. On one hand, do my loved ones not understand I’m going through a roller-coaster of emotions? What ever happened to letting someone experience the five stages of grief? On the other hand, I wondered if I was overdramatizing the experience. If everyone was telling me to snap out of it, maybe I needed to.

Looking back at the experience I learned several life changing skills. The one I found most important was allowing my emotions to run their course. Rather than taking the advice of others and sharking off my sadness, I accepted my feelings. Little did I know my action of acknowledging the feelings, sensations, and thoughts that arose from the experience were a part of being mindful.

So, what does it mean to be mindful? Google ‘mindfulness’ and an array of definitions and articles will appear. As defined by me, mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment, aware of my inner experiences, and with a non-judgmental and kind attitude.

Love yourself and listen to yourself. Whether you’re recovering from a break-up or recovering from another life changing experience, the moral of the story might be to love yourself.

Listen to your feelings, connect with what is going on inside of you. Learn how to tune into your body.

Noting emotions

The more we practice being present in our body, the more comfortable we learn to be with our own experiences.

While the world around me told me to smile and move on, I’m glad I didn’t. I know that if I would have taken the advice of my friends and family it would have been for the sake of pleasing them. I would have pushed my feelings aside giving them the opportunity to fester along with the possibility of having them resurface later on in life. Who knows what kind of emotions awaited me if I would have tucked my feelings away in a closet rather than facing them.

An inside out practice

We so often feel the need to be compassionate towards others that we fail to acknowledge the need to be compassionate with ourselves. Through mindfulness practice we learn to tune into the body and access its wisdom. Whether we tune into our thoughts, emotions, sensations, or intuitions we’re connecting with ourselves and learning how to listen to what we might need at any given moment or during major life events.

Consider how being mindful in your day-to-day life can help. We might think that loving ourselves is simple, and for the most part it is, but what about the times when change is inevitable and the unexpected takes us by surprise? My break-up was one of those times. Through that experience I learned the importance of tuning into myself. I also learned, although my loved ones meant well, their advice was not going to mend my ‘broken heart’.

Tune into yourself and your emotions

Take a moment to try a simple and effective mindfulness practice. To do this, stop and allow yourself to be in the present moment. Take a break from whatever you’re doing for just a little while. Check in with how it is right now. How are you feeling? What are you needing? And as you become clearer about how it is right now for you, offer yourself some kindness. Notice how greeting your experiences with kindness offers a new way of relating to what’s happening. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll not only create more awareness of your inner self, you’re also training yourself to become more comfortable with your full range of feelings, even the difficult ones.

Whether you’ve never heard of the term mindfulness before, you have some familiarity with it or you’re well immersed in the practice, eM Life has content for everyone. Start your Free eM Life Trial today. Gain access to expert mindfulness teachers via on-demand content, exclusive programs and live online mindfulness classes that are taught multiple times a day 365 days a year.

Read more on connecting with yourself. 

Taking Control when you’re about to Lose it

Mindful Self-care and Finding Balance in Parenthood