It’s not always happiness and joy felt this time of year. The holidays are often a time of increased stress and anxiety. For others it could be loneliness and sadness. We all experience pain at some point in our lives. This week is the final instalment of my blog series of simple mindfulness practices. After today, I encourage you to keep practicing a little bit a time until it becomes habit. A little by little you will begin to see these mindfulness practices filter into different parts of your life and you will feel great! Today’s practice is an extension on the mindful breathing exercises.
Mindfulness Practice 7:
Melt away __discomfort__ (insert your choice: stress, anxiety, fear, panic, pain, etc)
When you experience any kinds of discomfort, it is obviously uncomfortable and we want it to go away. Discomfort can come in many shapes and sizes and can be experienced in different ways by different people. For example, anxiety or stress might manifest itself as unwanted thoughts, tightness in your chest or stomach pain. Using our skills as an observer, we can learn to melt our discomfort away, by meeting it head-on.
- Step 1: recognize the pain/discomfort and label it, eg. “anxiety”.
- Step 2: breath into that anxiety. Know that it is happening, feel it, be curious about it – how is effecting how your heart feels, how your belly feels, how your chest feels, how your head feels, how does it feel when you begin to breath deeply and slowly. Breath into the most intense discomfort and stay with it for as long as you can.
- Step 3: be kind to yourself. Recognize that many other people in the world also experience this type of pain/discomfort. Allow yourself to work through the process. The pain/discomfort is not something that is happening to you, it is something you are experiencing and it is your choice how you relate to it.
- Step 4: As you observe your breath and your discomfort, witness what happens to it. You are in control.
If you have any questions for concerns about your mindfulness practice, or if you would like to share how these practices have influenced you, contact me. I would love to hear your story and try to answer your questions.