A Basic Mindfulness Meditation for Labelling Thoughts and Emotions

A 20-minute breathing meditation that explores thoughts, sensations, and mental states with kind awareness.

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This practice involves labelling our emotions as they surface. Labelling emotions accurately means going beyond recognizing when anger or fear is present — There are many flavors of anger, for example, such as annoyance, rage, resentment, and aggravation. Finding the right label can give you the same feeling as hitting a tennis ball on the sweet spot of your racket—it just clicks.

Sometimes emotions can feel threatening and there may be a fear that they might swallow us up or overwhelm us. As real as this threat might feel, it’s usually irrational. For both strong and subtle emotions it can also be helpful to give yourself permission to peek behind the curtain for a moment to see what you are feeling. You don’t have to stay long or dig anything up. Just take a quick peek, perhaps feeling right into the center of your chest, and give yourself permission to return to the breath whenever you need to.

Explore This Guided Meditation

For this guided meditation, we will begin with awareness of the breath. Then, we will expand our field of awareness to include thoughts and sensations. Finally, we will add instructions for bringing mindfulness to mental states and…

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