This is a Philosophers Note from Brian Johnson that resonated for me, especially as we head towards the Holidays. When we become aware of our emotions, we can change our thinking into a positive frame of mind. When we change our thinking we allow our heart to open.
“The basic observation that positive emotions are somehow incompatible with negative emotions is not a new idea ….. One simply cannot be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Try it. You can’t. Relaxation drives out anxiety and vice versa. The Buddha said that “Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.” You cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time, or forgiving and vengeful. When we are savoring the moment we cannot be regretting the past.” ~ Robert Emmons from Thanks!
Quite simply, we cannot experience both positive emotions and negative emotions at the same time. Try to hold both at the same time right now. As Emmons tells us, you can’t!
When we are in the present moment we can’t be in the past or the future.
So, the next time you’re feeling anxious, see if you can deliberately relax by breathing deeply, releasing the tension in your body and smiling.
And, when you’re feeling resentment toward life or someone in it, see if you can let that emotion go by focusing on something you are truly grateful for!
Come into the present moment, notice without judgment your thoughts and feelings, then choose from your heart.