15 Quotes About Emotions to Help you Refrain, Reframe and Relax

Over the past year, I’m sure many of us have been greeted with intense emotions that seem to linger in the back of our minds. There’s no denying that emotions are a part of us, whether it be anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, you name it. We all have them and they often cause pain for many of us. How we manage our feelings, however, has a direct relationship to our happiness, and the impact, whether positive or negative, we have on others.

In the past, psychologists believed we had to vent our emotions in order to release them. Expressing anger by screaming, beating something safe or otherwise fully expressing our feelings was thought to promote healing, an interesting idea that was proven false in the research. In Pema Chodron’s book, Taking the Leap she instead advocates for taking a mindful pause (also referred to as a mindful gap) to “get comfortable with, begin to relax with, and lean into whatever the experience may be.” At first, acknowledging, identifying and leaning into an emotion can be scary. Many of us think of emotions as wrong or bad parts of us that we want to protect ourselves from. However, if you can learn to refrain from lashing out or feeding an emotion with thoughts, reframe and relax your painful emotions can begin to lose grip over you.

To help you reframe the gamut of emotions you may experience in any given day, I have complied 20 quotes on emotions to hopefully help you see them in a new light.

“All emotions—whether we view them as good or bad—have a single essence that’s beyond good or bad. No matter what they look like on the surface or how you judge them, emotions—at their core—are basically positive. Instead of seeing only opposition or contradiction, you see an unbiased wholeness. You recognize that all of your emotions spring from the same source: the spontaneous, ever-present creative energy of your own mind, your own heart.

Emotional Rescue, Dzogchen Rinpoche Ponlop

Our feelings are not there to be cast out or conquered. They’re there to be engaged and expressed with imagination and intelligence.

 -T.K. Coleman

“We are not a fixed, predictable, static identity that anyone can point to and say, “You are always like this. You are always the same.” Life’s energy is never static. It is as shifting, fluid, changing as the weather. Sometimes we like how we’re feeling, sometimes we don’t. Then we like it again. Then we don’t. Happy and sad, comfortable and uncomfortable alternate continually. This is how it is for everyone. How we relate to this dynamic flow of energy is important. We can learn to relax with it, recognizing it as our basic ground, as a natural part of life; or the feeling of uncertainty, of nothing to hold on to, can cause us to panic, and instantly a chain reaction begins. We panic, we get hooked, and then our habits take over and we think and speak and act in a very predictable way.

Taking the Leap, Pema Chödrön

“You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather.”

-Pema Chödrön

“As you come to know your emotions better, you realize they’re not one-dimensional, fixed states of mind that go on for so many hours, days, or years. They come and go, rise and fade, just like our breath, which lasts only a few seconds. With a little practice, you can actually watch this happening.”

Emotional Rescue, Dzogchen Rinpoche Ponlop

A belief is only a thought you continue to think. A belief is nothing more than a chronic pattern of thought, and you have the ability – if you try even a little bit – to begin a new pattern, to tell a new story, to achieve a different vibration, to change your point of attraction. 

-Abraham Hicks

“In Jill Bolte Taylor’s book My Stroke of Insight, she points to scientific evidence showing that the life span of any particular emotion is only one and a half minutes. After that we have to revive the emotion and get it going again. Our usual process is that we automatically do revive it by feeding it with an internal conversation about how another person is the source of our discomfort. Maybe we strike out at them or at someone else—all because we don’t want to go near the unpleasantness of what we’re feeling. This is a very ancient habit. It allows our natural warmth to be so obscured that people like you and me, who have the capacity for empathy and understanding, get so clouded that we can harm each other.”

Taking the Leap, Pema Chödrön

“A person will be just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

-Abraham Lincoln

Your emotions are the sparks, the fizz, that inspire you to transform your struggles and frustrations into beautiful music and poetry.

Emotional Rescue, Dzogchen Rinpoche Ponlop

“Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”

–Bruce Lee

“When you take time to feel your anger, everything naturally slows down. You turn your attention inward. Right away you notice there’s space to breathe, so you’re not overwhelmed. In this space, you discover a gap between yourself and the anger you’re feeling. That little bit of distance shows you that you’re separate from your emotions. You’re not just that mad agitation. You’re also the one who’s observing it. If you and your anger were exactly the same, how could you be watching it?”

Emotional Rescue, Dzogchen Rinpoche Ponlop

“If someone comes along and shoots an arrow into your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person. It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart.”

-Pema Chödrön

“We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.”

-Brene Brown

“Feelings are something you have; not something you are.”

–Shannon L. Alder

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

– Thich Nhat Hahn

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