Reduce Stress through Mindfulness
Stress is a very real part of daily life. This is particularly true if you are trying to juggle multiple things at once, like a job, school, relationships and just plain old living. Over the course of time, stress can accumulate and wreak havoc on your body. Throw in a good dose of anxiety and you stress can create serious health problems.
Here, we are talking about everything from cardiac issues to IBS. There is a natural approach to reducing stress that comes to us from the world of mindfulness. Specifically, I am talking about RAIN.
The term RAIN is an acronym for Recognizing, Accepting, Investigating and Non-Identification. This specific approach is used by people who are struggling with different emotions that contribute to their personal stress level. Many celebrities use mindfulness type approaches to promote wellness, including Chris Evans, Jared Leto and Chris Pine.
Let’s walk through each part of RAIN so that you get a better understanding of how this mindfulness based technique can help you better deal with stress.
Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!
Before you can deal with what is stressing you, it is important to know what you are feeling. This can only begin when you recognize the emotion that you are experiencing. Examples include anger, sadness and frustration.
Some people find it helpful to take a few deep breaths and purge their mind of negative energy so as to better recognize what they are feeling. You don’t need to get all new-age with this. Just inhale and exhale and focus your attention on the process of breathing.
Now that you have identified the emotion you are feeling, it is important to simply go with it. This means accepting the emotion. If you are used to denying what you are feeling, you may be making your stress worse.
This is simply because denial paradoxically makes what we are feeling stronger. Using a mindful approach, all you need to do is say to yourself what you are feeling. Example: “I’m feeling angry right now.” Another example might be, “I’m feeling overwhelmed right now.” The point here is to name the emotion and own it.
This part can be confusing but only if you allow this to happen. Investigating really just means observing the different things going on in different parts of your heart, body and mind. A few helpful questions to ask yourself might be: “What am I aware of in my body with this emotion?” and “Where am I feeling this emotion on my person?”
Some people notice a burning sensation in the stomach. Others are able to identify tension in the shoulders. And still others are aware of stiffness in the back. The idea is to investigate where you are experiencing the emotion physically. Make sense?
The final part of RAIN is designed to let you step away from the emotion you are feeling. By placing distance between yourself and your emotion, you create a pathway for the feeling to pass.
As Shamash Alidina shares in her book, Mindfulness for Dummies, the word emotion has the word motion in it. When you can place distance between what you are feeling and your physical person, you allow that emotion to fully process and move on. (See Amazon).
There are plenty of other natural ways to work through stress. These include body building, general physical activity and meditation. Sometimes, however, stress can be triggered by something in the immediate moment that we are feeling.
By remembering to use RAIN as when we are feeling stress, you can go about the business of better processing your emotions and detoxifying from stress. Now that doesn’t sound too bad – does it?
I hope you found this information useful! Thanks for visiting Men’s Culture. Please like on Facebook.