Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Transforming Depression with wellness uses tools like mindfulness to help us shift gears. It helps us move out of habitual thinking that does not serve us. Wellness however takes a ton of work and often a depression clinic or recovery centre is vital for making that life shift happen. Seldom does change just come out of thin air. If you’ve been depressed for years and nothings changed, you are probably stuck in the hell of the habitual mind. But let us tell you the good news. You can bank on the fact that Transforming Depression with wellness works. Depression is highly treatable and no one need stay stuck any longer. Today we look at one such practice. There are many. This one is called the rain approach to Transforming Depression with wellness.
When we practice mindfulness at Depression clinics in South Africa like ours, our awareness is placed on what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future. A multitude of studies have shown that practicing mindfulness, even for just a few weeks, can bring a variety of physical, psychological, and social benefits. Beginning a mindfulness practice usually starts with awareness of breathe, thoughts, and sensations, and it is usually practiced through formal meditation or mindfulness of everyday activities. In this blog on Transforming Depression with wellness we are going to talk about how to mindfully deal with strong emotion. To truly comprehend and implement this approach, it may help to have some experience with basic mindfulness meditation.
The RAIN approach to making the shift happen
Here are the four steps for mindfully dealing with strong emotion:
- R – Recognize what is happening
- A – Allow it to be just as it is
- I – Investigate your inner experience
- N – Non-Identification
R: The “R” in the R.A.I.N. method stands for ‘Recognize’.
Take a moment to recognize that a strong emotion is present and gently turn towards what you’re experiencing in an open and non-judgmental way.
Tune in to the direct present moment experience of what is happening in your body and mind—the emotions, the thoughts and sensations that are here.
It can be helpful to mentally name it, for example, “I am feeling stressed” or “I am feeling overwhelmed.” This recognition of what your feeling, opens up inner space and brings you into full contact with yourself and the actuality of the present moment.
A: The “A” in R.A.I.N stands for ‘Allow.’
Allowing means to ‘let it be as it is.’ It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of your present moment reality. Allowing doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. It means we aims to soften (or drop) our mental resistance to what is happening.
The reason this is so important is because we often have the unconscious impulse to push away, suppress or ignore difficult emotions. When we engage in an inner struggle in these ways, we unknowingly create more suffering and tension.
In this unconscious struggle we also tend to get ‘caught up’ in our thoughts and emotions, therefore we are more likely to react rather than being able to choose a conscious response.
By allowing, we’re able to bring an inner ‘yes’ to our present moment experience. You may notice almost immediately a sense of softening and ease around the emotion.
I: The “I” in the R.A.I.N. exercise stands for ‘Investigate.’
Now that you have recognized and allowed this emotion you can choose to investigate it. You may not always feel you need the “I” step as sometimes just the recognition and acceptance is enough. At other times you may feel naturally drawn to using this step.
So to investigate, you can mentally enquire with questions like “Why do I feel the way I do?” “Are there events that happened ahead of the emotion that might have influenced it?” “Are there physiological factors (Such as not getting enough sleep) that are affecting the emotion?” “What do I really need right now?” “Are there actions I could take to nurture and support myself (and/or others) in this difficult time?”
These questions can help us come into wiser relationship with emotions and thoughts. With this process of investigation we can also choose a conscious response to foster a more meaningful life. Investigation may even resolve and dissolve the emotion completely at times (although it is not the goal).
N: The “N” stands for ‘Non-identification.’
In the “N” step of R.A.I.N, you turn your attention to the simple realization that YOU are not your mind nor are you your emotions. You are the awareness, the consciousness, the mindfulness, the observer that is always there underneath every thought, emotion and sense perception.
Non-identification means that your sense of who you are is not fused with or defined by your thoughts and emotions. This brings about a natural sense of freedom and ease. It gives a sense of having peace in the middle of it all. No matter how intense and painful the emotional storm, there is always a part of you that is still, silent and unperturbed.
You can use this R.A.I.N. method anytime you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed or out of touch. It’s a powerful way of homecoming in a challenging time.
For more information on Transforming Depression with wellness or depression clinics in South Africa like ours get in touch today. firstname.lastname@example.org