Mindfulness is becoming somewhat of a movement; mental health professionals and wellness advocates are singing its praises as a way to become more in touch with ourselves in the present moment. And it’s not just talk, either. There’s a lot of research to back up the idea that mindfulness can lead to greater happiness.
So what is mindfulness exactly? Some may think of practicing yoga or chanting mantras of peace and calmness. And while mindfulness may include meditation or have a spiritual component, at its core it simply refers to paying attention to ourselves on purpose. What clues is your body telling you? What emotions are you experiencing? What does your breathing sound like? We are such a distracted generation, and sometimes we need to slow down and tune in. The RAIN strategy is a simple technique to help you practice mindfulness:
The first step is to simply recognize that you’re feeling something. What emotions or stress are you carrying? What’s going on in your mind? Work to identify what’s happening in your inner world.
Allow and Acknowledge
Next, allow your feelings to just be. We so often criticize or dismiss our emotions. For example, if I get nervous before a media interview, I might be tempted to think, “I’ve done this type of thing many times before-I shouldn’t be so anxious!” A better approach is to allow ourselves to feel a certain way without being judgmental of our feelings.
Be curious about what’s going on in your mind, body, and spirit. If you realize that you’re getting angry or resentful toward someone, start to question why that may be the case (perhaps you’re feeling vulnerable, jealous, or insecure). Our emotions give us cues, so dig deeper to figure out what they’re telling you.
While the whole point of mindfulness is to be aware of our emotions, it’s important to not over-identify with them. You are not your feelings-you do not need to be controlled by them. By recognizing our emotions, we can take a step back from them (particularly if they are intense).
Mindfulness is a practice we can incorporate into our everyday lives. I encourage you to use the RAIN method to help you live better in the present moment. If you need a little help, I’m offering personal coaching sessions for 50% off for Studio 5 viewers. The coupon code is studio5