Meditation For Managing Strong Emotions | Zachary Phillips | Skillshare

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Meditation For Managing Strong Emotions

teacher avatar Zachary Phillips, Meditation, Writing, Self-Improvement

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Misconceptions

    • 3. Mindfulness Meditation

    • 4. Choiceless Awareness

    • 5. Meta Meditation

    • 6. FAQ

    • 7. Class Project

    • 8. Resources & Recap

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About This Class

Strong emotions have a way of taking us for a ride. On moment we are feeling one way, then almost on a dime we shift into another. This can come on so quickly and with such strength, that we get blindsided.

In this course you will learn three different meditation techniques (Mindfulness, Choiceless Awareness & Meta) that will give you the tools to manage strong emotions as they arise. If practised daily, these meditations will reduce the severity and frequency of future bouts of strong emotion.

The key point of this course is to show you how to ‘turn and face’ your emotions, rather than running from them or ‘blocking them out’. Those strategies don’t work. In this course you will learn how to listen to yourself and to gently and safely release some of your inner tension.

Contact Me:
Website: | Social @zacpphillips

Further Resources:

Insight Timer: Readings & Discussions Of My Poetry

Waking Up (app) - Sam Harris

The Mind Illuminated (book) - Culadasa
Mindfulness In Plain English (book) - Gunaratana 

Meditate, ch 1.9 of How To Get Your Sh!t Together (book) - Zachary Phillips

Meditation Mega Course (Skillshare) - Zachary Phillips

Meet Your Teacher

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Zachary Phillips

Meditation, Writing, Self-Improvement


Zachary Phillips is a mental health advocate, author and mindset coach. In these roles he has helped thousands of people move from a place of barely surviving to passionately thriving.

He is the author of nine books including: How To Get Your Sh!t Together and Mindfulness: A Guidebook To The Present Moment, and the creator of the Depresso Espresso web comic.

He is also an instructor on Skillshare and Insight Timer, teaching mindfulness meditation, personal development, and creative writing.

He is a qualified school teacher, personal trainer, martial arts coach, and disability support worker. Working in these industries has given him a depth of experience teaching across multiple topics, to learners of all ages and ability levels. It has also enabled him to cond... See full profile

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1. Introduction: I meditate daily and I do a few different kinds. The kind that you'll learn in this Skillshare course will be directly related to helping you manage strong emotions. The skills that you'll learn in this course will help you to manage them. I'm going to teach you a couple of different ways that you can meditate, as well as one to do in the moment to directly combat that. My name is Zachary Phillips. I'm an online mental health advocate, author and life coach. In this role, I've helped thousands of people move from a position of just surviving to one that's passionately thriving and I hope to help you do the same. If you're curious about meditation or if you struggled with overwhelming strong emotions, taking your mental state for a ride. This is the course for you. I highly, highly, highly suggest that you start your meditation practice today. 2. Misconceptions: so festival. Let's break through a couple of misconceptions. He meditation is not about emptying your mind. It's not about blocking off. The thoughts is more actually about accepting. And that's the key to this whole course. Rather than doing the default reaction to strong emotions off running away, either, you know, turning away, turning to drugs to any distractions you literally going for around. The point of this course will be to give you the tools to actually turn and face it. Turn and face the emotion that you're struggling with, and in doing so, you'll find that the half life of the emotion, how long it lasts. It's a very its duration goes. It seems a little bit out there, a little bit wild to be told that the direct way to combat this is to turn and face and look at it. But that's what you need to do, because if you think about your emotions are actually trying to tell you something, there's a reason you're feeling fearful. But the reason you're associating there's a reason you ranges or angry or whatever it is, and if you turn away from it, if you don't accept it, if you don't sort of feel what's going on, that emotions gonna keep coming and coming and coming and coming until it overwhelms you until it bust through the door that you put up to stop it. So in this course, I'm gonna give you the skills to be able to turn and face that emotion and look at. There's an analogy that I would like to suggest to you your emotions, your mental state, your your your What is going on in your mind, the mental affliction that you're dealing with. That's like a truth lis demon. It's something that's yelling at you, screaming at it looks terrifying, and it might even feel a bit scary. You might be physically feeling, Oh, and you just want to run, and that's what you've done in the past because you run from the scary demon. But what you find is is when you develop the courage to turn and look at it and face it and deal with it, address it, its power just goes, and that's where the magic lies. When you try to look at it, you realize that the demons toothless, you realize that it can't hurt you emotions and any overwhelming feeling our overwhelming because we're afraid of them. Once you turn and face once you look at them and I'm gonna give you the skills to do that, you lose that fear and you get a tool that will help you to come back These emotions when they pop up, they want to stop them from coming up, at least not initially out for you over the years. And as you may take more, your mind frame will stop stabling down and you will get karma in general. But negative emotions will come. Troubling mental states will come. Bad events in life will happen, but you're gonna have the schools to deal with it. 3. Mindfulness Meditation: There are three types of meditation that you gonna learn in this course. The 1st 1 is called mindfulness or breath focused overpass, and there's a bunch of names for and this is a meditation that I would suggest you do every day. It's deceptively simple, but quite challenging toe actually. Maintain and do all you're going to do is sit down and close your eyes and focus on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the nice. When your mind wanders, you bring it back. Mind wanders, you bring it back. It could be a thought, a feeling, emotion, physical sensation of real sound. Whatever your your attention goes and you just bring it back, you do this for one minute, five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes. However long you feel like you can every day and just keep repeating it, the benefits of doing this it teaches you to be able to bring your mind back toe a focus point, no matter what's happening. So you get this overwhelming for you. Bring it back. You get distracted, you bring it back. You start going down a rumination path, you notice that you bring it back. That's good in the moment. But the idea is that this lesson, this ability transcends the meditation. So I do this for about 10 to 20 minutes every day as part of my morning meditations, and it's having benefits throughout the rest of the day. It's the same reason I exercise. I don't exercise and lift weights to be able to pick up more bites. I exercise that I'm strong in real life. I meditate, so my mind is coming. Real life, so you'll find there's a lot of little things that you can sort of dissect and go. Okay, well, do I have my eyes closed or open to my seat in the set away, All that sort of relatively meaningless. Do I focus on the breath here on the chest? Do I have to focus on the breath? Cannot focus on the candle. Choose meditation object. Typically the breath leaving the nose when you mind wanders, bring it back and do that for a certain amount of time. Every day I've done a course called Meditation for Mental Health or put a link down below, and that will go into the nitty gritty of this sort of meditation. But for the general practices. You've got it. Six Overtime A focus on your breath. When you mind wanders, bringing back do it daily and your ability to focus and your ability to gain control of your mind will start to grow. That will be vital from managing strong emotions with the next two types of meditation that I'm gonna teach you. 4. Choiceless Awareness: The second sort of meditation that I'm going to teach you is called Choices Awareness. This is really the crux of the practice. This is what I do when I'm feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, depression, anger or dissociation when I realize that I'm feeling one of those ways, and that's the first step. The first step is to start practicing sort of feeling and checking into yourself, because you need to be aware of when you're feeling these emotions, and you typically feel it physically or you'll start snapping in response. Or you'll get that sort of blazing your eyes or you'll start sort of checking things. You know, you know your symptoms off what you're dealing with when you start noticing those symptoms , or potentially when someone else tells you that there be concerned for you, do this a couple of calm, deep breaths, like the previous meditation focusing on the nose. When your mind is able to focus on the nose for 3 to 5 breaths in a row, just let your mind wander. And what if it pops up? Whatever pops up into mind that becomes the focus of attention that becomes the focus of your meditation and typically what you'll find is is that that anxiety, that feeling that strong emotion will be ever present. When you noticed it, it sort of like so might be floating over here. You'll feel it there still focusing on your breath. And then you'll stop feeling that emotion internally mentally. Turn and look at it really observant internally. What does it feel like emotionally? What thoughts Come with it? What does it feel like? Physically embrace it? Yeah, look at that emotion and then you'll quickly discover that that emotion starts dissipating , watch it dissipate, and then just let your mind flow free. The next thought will come in the next emotional coming and you do the same process. What does it look like? Go through? The whole thing was, it looked like, feel like physically what thoughts come with all that sort of stuff and then let that go. And the idea is that you don't try and change or manipulate or block it out or anything. You're just looking at it. So you've changed the meditation object from the nose through the challenging object that pops up into your mind. This works wonders for me. I can't stress that enough will notice this feeling. I struggle with dissociation from traumatic pumps. My brain just sort of drift off. And when I noticed that drifting off, I do this for a little bit. And then literally the world gets back into focus because during that drift off, like my vision drift off like I lose focus, I lose the ability to focus doing this re associates me and I come back to the present moment truck. 5. Meta Meditation: The final meditation that I'm gonna teach you is called loving kindness or metta meditation . This is a practice what you basically get the feelings of love and connection towards someone or towards yourself, and you just embrace and you feel those feelings. The reason I use this as a counter to strong emotions is because when I'm feeling very anxious or very depressed, associated or angry or whatever, if I can generate a feeling of love and connection to someone, those feelings start to dissipate naturally because they sort of counter to them the feeling of loving kindness, of just wanting someone to be well and happy and not suffer and have that dreams completed in this life. That feeling doesn't really sit next to anger that well. It's hard to feel both at once. Now I'm no in any way trying to block off the anger. I'm just generating feelings of loving kindness. Now the practice is quite simple. Start with the mindfulness breath on the nose just to cut myself down. Get into that mood as well as potentially the choices awareness. But just get get yourself into a com state couple of date breaths and then you're going to think of someone, someone that you have a non complex relationship with, someone that it's easy to feel love for. Hold that image in your mind or in your heart or both, and se internally were out loud. May you be free of ill will. May you be free of suffering, maybe full of loving kindness. May you be happy and just repeat those sayings or feelings like that may every wish that you that you have for this world be fulfilled. Generate that feeling at first of my feel a bit contrived. First about feel like you're faking it a little bit and you sort of are. But over time, as you do this practice, you get good at this and you start feeling this literal feeling of physical heat. It's like it's like you can feel the serotonin and dopamine being released. And once you you've you've generated that feeling. Checking to that feeling, Put it on other people, put it on yourself, but you'd be free of ill. Will you be free of suffering when you be full of loving kindness? May you be happy. Use my words of your words or whatever words you lack, but the importance is to generate that feeling. Now. You can do this on a time basis, or you can do this until the challenging four to go or anything like that. It's up to you. You could do it daily. Some people only meditate on this sort of practice. That's fine. I use it once again as a bit of a tool to be able to sit with positivity and nice feelings , give it a try. 6. FAQ: I want to touch a little bit on frequently asked questions in troubleshooting meditation. Just a heads up. I've released, I think 4 to 5 sculpture courses e on the topic of meditation, including one mega course that about two hours long. So if you are a follower of mine and you have lost those videos, you're probably gonna be seeing a bit of this information already. So the information is in depth already up and also put a chapter of my book How to Get Shit Together. That's on the topic of meditation in further resource is section. So we're going to go quite going to give you a lot of different resource is to be able to assist you with these troubleshooting things, but the main ones that people come up with, how often should I do it? I would suggest meditate daily on the breath to the breath breath based on past the meditation every day, first thing in the morning as probably morning ritual. Good morning ritual courses. Well, that help you to establish that why do it every morning because it sets your day up to success. It's like going to the gym and exercising if you exercise once, you wouldn't expect to see results. But if you exercise daily, you will. So I would suggest you meditate daily and you will get good. And then, I suppose, in addition to that, if you meditate daily now, when you quote unquote, don't need it when you do need it when you're struggling, you'll have that skill. I hope I train martial arts. I hope to never have to use it in a real fire. But I've got the skills just in case, right? I tried it because I love it because it's beneficial to my physical, mental sexual health. But it's also a useful skill. My approach meditation the same way it's beneficial in itself. And when I struggle with something massive in my life, either externally or internally, I've got the developed practice to have it there. So it's just doing every day. The next question is, well, how long you don't wanna go too hard too soon you blow yourself that you wanted to be life appropriate. That means as much time as possible that you admit to it without over doing it. Can you do it every day for that long? For six months for a year for five years. That's the amount of time you should do. I suggest everyone stopped just with one minute and then build up slowly over there. When I add up all my meditations, including the guided meditations and stuff I do, it becomes about 30 30 to 45 minutes every day. That's the limit that I can sort of get to. Some days. If I need it, I'll go longer. But I started with one minute when I started exercising. I started with 500 meter run and three push ups. You have to stop some way and that's fine. The next question with meditation you get is OK. Do I need to be seated? If so, how do I see lie down? So I had my eyes closed up, has opened all that sort of stuff with the actual physical practicalities. I would suggest that you have a spot that you meditated just for the habit formation. It's not necessary that I'll suggest that you choose a meditation object that is easily accessible. I like to have the eyes closed and focus on my breath coming in and out of my nose. But Some people don't like to have their eyes closed. Some people get a free kept focusing on the breath. It's up to you. Choose meditation object. It could be sound literally. Just focusing on the sounds you mind wanted to bring back to the sound could be the vision of a candle. It could be a Mount ER that you were paid. The idea is, is that you choose one object and you focus on that object mind. Want to spray back mind? Want to bring it back? Mind what does bring back? I've closed or open. I choose ice close. You can have him open. Some people find that better because it's less distracting. Some people find it worse. I don't like lying down because I typically fall asleep, and that's not the goal. We're not trying to relax ourselves in defining. It's like that's a different sort of relaxation. Like said, of course, on relaxation meditations that you can look at that. But that's not the goal of this. The goal of this is to train your mind, so I don't like laying down For that reason. I know some people do, and they find with it doesn't work for me, so I don't know. But people can. Some people do a walking meditation. You're feeling the physical movement of your feet on the ground as you take steps right, So we will do it standing. There's multiple options. The key here is she's meditation option object. Set a timer. Focus on it. Mind wanders. Bring it back. That's it. Nothing more complex than that. 7. Class Project: so the class project will be a five minute session off choices, awareness, meditation. You gonna close your eyes, Do a couple of breaths focusing on your on the breath, entering and leaving the nose, and then just let your mind wander and whatever pops up, whatever happens, whatever your mind brings up, you're just gonna focus on that and just look at it. What does it feel like? What does it taste like will fall to popping up? Just note that to yourself. Five minutes. If that thought goes and the next one comes fine, Let it and we're gonna do. At the end of that five minutes is just write down how you went. Did you last the five minutes? Any thoughts? Any questions? Very simple. I just want to get you started on this meditation. The reason I wanted to do this this as an actual class project is because it will help you in the sense that you can ask the troubleshooting questions. You can voice what happened and you can get my feet back. One of the issues people have with meditation is it's all in here happen. I get coached. Well, you could get coached by sharing what happened. So five minute choices away in the session. Do it now. Right, The class project out. Tell me how you went. And if you've got any questions, ask it there and I'll help you throw Good luck. 8. Resources & Recap: Let's talk further resources. So what I've given you here is a overview and some instructions on basic practice. I'm going to link my other Skillshare courses which go deep into a few of these topics, as well as the chapter from my book, how to get **** together. But in addition to this, I want to suggest to you some of the stuff are some of the locations that I've got a lot of help from as a further resource. The first one is the waking up the app by Sam Harris. I use this one daily and I think I've clocked up, I think I want a strike of 150 plus days in a row and maybe six to 7 thousand minutes. I'll do it daily. It's very helpful. And he goes into all of these different types of meditation, as well as these conversations and theory instructions and meditation for kids. It's constantly updated. I'm a massive fan. It's the only meditation app that I recommend because the other ones seem to be more focused on relaxation, which is fine. But it's not what I'm after. I'm not after relaxation and after benefits to my mental state beyond that, including like we've been covering in this Skillshare course, the ability to deal with strong emotions. So the waking up AB by Sam Harris, a couple of books. The first one is the mind illuminated. Then I'll put a link down below for these books so you can just click through and buy them if you like. The mind illuminated is a very structured, left-brain orientated approach to mindfulness. It breaks mindfulness down into stages and gives you a very concrete direct instructions on how to deal with it and how to manage it. And it's a must read for left brain thinkers or anyone that wants a clear structured step-by-step approach. I love it. But on the other side of things, if you're more to the right brain or you're a little bit more creative or want a less overwhelming approach, you go for Mindfulness in plain English. This one's a great book. It had a covers. What actually both of those two books cover the mindfulness, but they also both cover Metta meditation as well, the loving kindness meditation. These two books are very complimentary to each other. This one, and these ones go very well because it's one sort of breaks it down, but this one gives you that sort of narrative and sort of like a softer approach to it that some people very much preferred. So thanks for watching guys. I hope you've gotten a lot from this course. I know that I get a lot from daily meditation practices as well as teaching it. The more I teach it, the better I understand. Because if I can explain it to you, I know it very well as well. You probably were saying up there a link that says, review this course. Please, please, please do so. It encourages me, it motivates me, and it lets me know what you're finding that I'm doing well, what you're finding that I'm not doing so well. And also people are using it to comment and say, Hey, can you do a course on this or that? So please shoot me a review. Let me know what's good and what's bad. And also, if you've got any requests for courses based on any of the stuff I talked about. If you want me to go a bit deeper, let me know. Remember for dealing with strong emotions. We're not trying to block them off or stop them or cancel that falls or anything like that. We are trying to turn and face to look them, to embrace them fully. Because when we look at those emotions fleet, they disappear. Give it a try. Thanks for watching. And just as a side note, I'm gonna be putting out a bunch more Skillshare courses, Sophia life, and what I'm doing. Follow me. Cheers.