Labeling & The Components of Emotions

 

Using the noting or labeling practice in daily life, I find that the most useful is to label sensations and thoughts (the more full practice, which can be done when there is more time, is to label sensations, smell/taste, sounds, sight and thoughts).

What I find is that there is a sensation, and then a thought about the sensation. If I believe the thought, there is usually drama and a sense of struggle. And if I note sensations as sensation, and thoughts as thoughts, it stops before the drama – or it at least does not go very far. Sensations are now seen as just sensations, without needing to add a layer of interpretation on it. And thoughts are seen as just thoughts, without attaching to and fueling their content.

In this way, I see that what appears as emotions is really just a sensation and a story about it. And seeing this, the apparent emotion falls into these components. It is not an emotion anymore. It is just a sensation and a thought about this sensation.

So there is no need to go into the drama of it all. At the same time, if there is something that can be labeled pain, I can do something about it. There is still responsiveness to situations, without the drama.

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