Mindfulness and Stress

Mindfulness is more than a meditation  It is a set of instructions for living.  The mind is very IMG_8817involved in how much we experience stress and suffering.  Mindfulness helps us to bring clarity to our thoughts and reactive patterns.  When you are in a state of distress, follow these steps, RAIN:

RECOGNIZE: Mindfully Recognize what is going on.  Pay attention to how you feel, what your thoughts are, what you are feeling, the sensations in your body, and what is your impulse.  Just take a few breaths and observe.

ALLOW: Allow the experience to be as it is.  When we resist things as they are, we tend to aggravate our suffering.  Allow the feelings, thoughts, emotions, sensations to be as they are and observe with focused attention. So again, take a few breaths and allow yourself to experience things as they are.

INVESTIGATE: Investigate your experience by asking yourself, what am I feeling? What wants the most attention?  What am I believing? Activate your own curiosity about what is going on inside.  This will help you bring to awareness what is really going on for you.

NATURAL LOVING AWARENESS: In this step, you bring a spirit of kindness to your experience.  A softening of rigidity by just imagining you wrap your experience with warmth, like a warm cloth of caring for your experience.  This allows you to sit with the experience, and with practice you become more and more connected with your true nature and the core of your essence, which not the part of yourself that stresses and worries, but the part of yourself that can trust and be resilient.

Taking time to practice RAIN will assist you to gain insight into your experience and to reach deep insight so that you can then discern now to respond (rather than react on automatic pilot).

If you would like to practice this and other mindfulness tools, join me in my next MBSR class. September 22nd.  Click here for more information and here to register.