Many factors affect our well-being, from smaller daily life stressors to larger social determinants of health — think socioeconomic status, race, gender, and others. All of us can experience the benefits of mindfulness despite these challenges and disparities.
Whatever your situation, giving yourself space to incorporate just five minutes of meditation into your day can improve your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Mindfulness is living in the present moment without judgment and without allowing external conditions to overwhelm you. Cultivating the ability to calmly confront your emotions — whatever they may be — can increase self-compassion and care; it helps address feelings of insecurity, unworthiness, and other nagging concerns.
In the previous issue, we introduced “FEETS,” an acronym I developed to describe five key elements of meditation to help you jump-start or refine your practice. (Revisit that piece here.)
Now, build upon your practice by adding RAIN, a mindfulness technique developed by meditation teacher Michele McDonald, to lean in to your emotions.
Recognize the emotions you are experiencing in the moment.
Accept whatever emotions are here for you right now. If old mental habits arise, such as trying to hide from your emotions, gently set those habits aside and sit with your feelings.
Investigate your emotions with curiosity and don’t judge yourself for experiencing them. Where do they manifest and how do they feel? A knot or butterflies in your stomach? A weight in your chest? Blood rising in your neck or ears? What else?
Nonidentification: Negative emotions can overwhelm us when we ruminate and become fully submerged in them. Intentionally separating yourself from your emotions allows you to observe them more clearly, explore whether they represent your truth, and make more objective decisions about them.