Dangeous pitfall: accept, observe but do not dwell
Maybe the top spiritual practice is to observe and accept what is.
In order to process a painful mental emotion, instead of suppressing it, we watch it, stop resisting it... this way it is supposed to disappear... or at least be there but we are not bothered anymore...
Sometimes we are doing exactly the above and yet the observed emotion is still there and our attitude towards it refuses to change... it sometimes even gets more powerful and painful... and we find ourselves even more affected and thus are suffering more due to this emotion.
It is usually because of a back-door mind trick. Without noticing, we have gone too far in our observation and actually have dwelt in the emotion. Instead of observing the emotion and letting it go, we have developed an attachment to the emotion and thus gave it extra strength, extra energy. The mind used the opportunity that we are observing the emotion in "daylight" to ground the emotion in our psyche, to pose its control using the time dimension. Instead of adhering to the rhythm of our emotional tempo, the mind sets a new tempo, it prolongs the duration of the emotion. Our observation is not pure. It is stained with control.
The way out of this mind trick is simple: you just need to bring the emotion to daylight, you do not need to "accompany" it anymore afterwards. Just bring it to awareness and turn to something else. Do not to dwell when you observe a painful emotion. You need to be very practical: accept, observe and turn to the next thing. Make sure that the pace of change of your emotions is not dictated by you but by what is. Release control over when the emotion arises and when it subsides. Release control completely. Just be a pure observer.
Accept, observe and then move away from the observation of the underlying emotion. Your subconscious intelligence will do the rest, you do not need to preoccupy yourself with this emotion anymore, you have done your part.
A good object of observation to switch to when you are done with the underlying emotion is your breath or the new what is - whatever now is the "what is".
Ohh the mind is so tricky :-)