The Importance of Healthy Detachment From Your Emotions
A degree of healthy detachment from our mind is absolutely necessary for our mental health.
What I mean by healthy detachment is the ability to become the observer of our thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in the drama of them. Whether your experiencing positive emotions and thoughts or negative ones, the default state of our mind is to really identify with those things and to believe that they play a large role in defining who we are. The truth is that you are not any particular thought, sensation or emotion, you just are.
I encourage you to take the time to meditate and to observe your mind and body. After practicing this for days, weeks or months you may begin to notice that you become less caught up in the contents of your mind. For example you may feel some negative emotional reaction to an event, and feel the emotions that come along with it, but now because you have been meditating, it doesn’t bother you as much, you experience it, but it is nowhere near as visceral and threatening to your ego. As a result of this, it becomes much easier to let go of this negativity and move on.
A healthy detachment from your mind helps massively to put a break between the incessant thinking that the mind is typically accustomed to, and because that noise of thought has been lessened, you now gain a much better capacity to respond to the difficult emotions, thoughts and sensations that arise in your mind and body.
In other words, mindfulness meditation puts a space between stimulus and response so that you can make better, more conscious decisions.
This alone will immediately make you feel calmer and assist you in gaining a sense of inner strength that is very hard to fake. The reason for this is that once you drop the over-identification with your mind and your self, you can experience the present in its entirety more often. And in the present moment, your mind does not focus on that thing you have to do in the future, or your past regrets, your mind is allowed more space to breathe and simply be, which will in turn translate to a much more settled mind.
You are not your emotions! You are not your thoughts! You are the presence that allows those things to be. So, know then that whatever you decide to focus on is what you will experience. With meditation, that focus moves back to where it should originally be at – the present, and not on the contents of the present moment.
To put that into a metaphor, imagine that you are in a bedroom. This room represents your consciousness; the sense of ‘I am-ness’ that you carry around with you. Now imagine all the furniture in your room and have a look around. Is it messy? Clean? Have you got dishes you need to take to the kitchen? A big wardrobe? Populate this room with whatever you like.
The furniture in the room represents the contents of your mind, the thoughts, past experiences, future hopes and dreams, the sensations and emotions that you experience on a daily basis.
Throughout our daily life, most of us are intensely focused upon the contents of the room, and we fuss and fight over these things constantly. When instead, you can focus upon the space the room provides for these things to exist. The space does not change, the room is still the same size it has always been, except the contents of your room will naturally shift and change all the time.
Then, make an effort to not get caught up in how your room looks at any given time. Just enjoy residing in the space, taking in the atmosphere of it all, and observing your room without judging every item you come across as good or bad – it is a lot less stressful!