One of the most challenging parts of mediation is the emotional toll a conflict can take leading up to the session. Before heading into your mediation session, it’s important to nurture your emotions before attempting to solve the conflict at hand. Emotions are a natural part of being a human being, but if they’re continually repressed, finding a resolution will be much more difficult if not impossible.
Tip #1: Deep breathing exercises
Breathing deeply and intentionally will help calm your mind. Close your eyes and imagine yourself as a circle of light, getting bigger and smaller with each deep breath. Deep breathing allows more oxygen into your body which means more oxygen to your brain. The more oxygen you have in your brain, the easier your body can stabilize and think clearly. Deep breathing also helps to lower your blood pressure, which will help relieve any stress you’re feeling.
Tip #2: Write it out
Our minds are a vast place of thoughts, don’t let them fester in your head. If you have consistent negative thoughts about a conflict, write them down or talk out loud to yourself. You may find that once your unpleasant feelings are out of your head, you can see the situation from another perspective or you can now connect the dots you weren’t able to see prior.
Additionally, writing down your feelings can help make sure you’re accurately representing yourself when it comes time for mediation. Sometimes when faced with a conflict, even if you’ve already reflected, emotions may again manifest and cloud your judgment. By having your feelings written out, you can use it as a guide to making sure your perspective is heard and understood properly.
Tip #3: Do something that brings you joy
What brings you joy? It may be listening to music with the windows rolled down, or visiting with animals at the local shelter, or getting some exercise. Whatever it is, take some time to do something that will bring you joy. Sometimes when conflict is in our lives, we forget to take time for the joyful moments of life. Conflict doesn’t last forever.
Tip #4: Ask for help
From the moment we’re born, we’re given the ability to ask for help. If the weight of this conflict feels too heavy, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Getting an outside perspective from a friend or family member may help you understand the conflict better or guide you on how you should respond. Also, talking it out with a trusted someone before mediation can be very beneficial as long as the tone stays neutral and doesn’t turn hostile. Hostile conversations can turn into hostile thoughts that can fester (see tip #2).
Remember that we all experience emotions and how you choose to transform that emotional energy is up to you. Practice patience with yourself and the other party. Emotions and conflict go hand in hand, but they don’t have to make or break your resolution.