This year, let mindfulness help you become more resilient.
Feel your frustration, disappointment, or whatever it is that comes up for you, then turn to one of these Mindful Methods tools to comfort yourself, as you would comfort a dear friend. You are that dear friend! You can enjoy the present more without ruminating on the past or worrying as much about the future.
Take In the Good.
In 2020, turn your focus toward experiencing the fullness of every beautiful, joyful, silly, fun, or wonderful experience you have. Savor the positive mental state for a few moments to create new neural bridges; what fires together, wires together! By letting the good feelings land, you are pushing the mental state into a neural trait, resulting in a happier brain.
Label Negative Emotions.
Practice R.A.I.N. When you experience anger, frustration, sadness, or any other negative emotion, recognize it by saying, “Oh, that’s anger” (or whatever the emotion is) coming up right now.” The mere mention of the emotion calms down the brain. Then allow it to be there for a few moments while you gently investigate why it’s there. Finally, nourish yourself by looking inward and asking what you need to hear or do right now to help yourself feel better.
Do What Gives You Joy.
Life is full of emotional chaos, but bringing it back to focused activities that give joy to your soul can mean the difference between making or breaking it day to day, year to year. Take a few minutes to write down a list of everything you can think of that brings you joy — little things and big things alike — then commit to doing one thing from that list every day.
When you feel anxiety ramping up, focus your attention downward and feel your feet on the floor. Breathe deeply, keeping your focus on the sensation of your feet (i.e., bare, in socks or shoes, whatever — feel it all, just as it is) on the floor. This is an instant tool to break the cycle of anxiety.
Transform Suffering Into Love (Tonglen).
When you experience suffering — whether from a personal tragedy, an international one, or anything in between — use the Receiving-Sending meditation to transform that suffering into love. Breathe in the pain and sorrow; breathe out love and compassion. Breathe in the suffering; breathe out peace.
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