IWP Emotional-Mindfulness and Regulation Tools

  • Begin slow diaphragmatic breathing for two minutes. 
    • Count of six on the inhale (keep chest still, breath deeply into your belly, fill up the belly like a balloon). 
    • Count of eight on the exhale (slowly constrict and fully empty the belly on the exhale, imagine squeezing all water out of a sponge).  
  • Identify your immediate feelings. 
    • Ex. I’m feeling anger, scared, frustrated, annoyed, weak, fragile, hollow, nervous. 
    • Write down your feelings:
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
  • Remember that avoidance, resistance and nonacceptance fuels unhealthy emotions. NAN™ your feelings by normalizing them, accepting them, and not judging them. Spend one minute repeating the following statements silently to yourself or out loud: 
    • These feelings are normal to have.
    • I accept my feelings as they are.
    • I do not judge myself for feeling this way. 
  • Bring your curiosity, questions and a contemplative mindset to dig down deeper to the emotions below your surface feelings. 
    • Ex. I’m actually feeling a loss of control, sadness, despair, pain, helplessness, hopelessness, or fear of illness or death. 
    • Continue to identify deeper emotions and feelings:
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
  • Use Body Scan techniques to explore where the feelings and emotions exist within the body. 
    • Ex. I’m feeling these emotions in my chest, stomach, neck, and head.
    • Where else do you feel the physical symptoms of your emotions?
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
  • Use Object-Relations and visualization techniques to turn your emotions into an object, so you can externalize them and experience them being outside and separate from you.  
    • Ex. These emotions feel like a big, red, solid brick sitting heavily on my chest. Visualize lifting the brick from your chest and placing it next to you.  
    • Ex. My emotions feel and sound like a runaway freight train. Visualize a train rolling by you and disappearing from view as the sound diminishes.   
    • Describe your emotions as objects:
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • Spend three to five minutes visualizing the objects as being separate from you. Place the objects next to you or watch the objects move away from you. 
  • Use Self-Directing statements to connect to your strength, emotional resilience and to encourage yourself to prepare to let go.
    • Ex. I’m going to just sit with this. I’m not going to resist these feelings.  I’m letting these feelings go soon. I’m not fearful of these emotions. I know these feelings too well. I know they will pass. I’m going to imagine what it will look and feel like to let go of this critical, harmful, or fearful narrative.
    • What Self-Directing statements did you come up with?
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
  • Use Self-Affirming statements to create the emotional experience and feelings that you want, need and desire. 
    • Ex. I feel safe, secure and grounded. I can let go of control with ease. I don’t require myself to be a hero right now. I appreciate, love and respect my humanness. I am a strong, resilient, and wholesome person. I feel calmer and more relaxed now. I am a healthy person. I only treat myself and my body with compassion, kindness and patience. Letting go of my old narratives feels healthy, productive and good.   
    • What Self-Affirming statements did you come up with?
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
  • Lastly, create intentional Gratitude Statements about your overall emotional experience.   
    • Ex. I am grateful to take this time and to remind myself that it is ok to feel scared, lost, powerless or helpless at times. I am grateful to connect with all of my emotions. I am grateful that this experience reminded me that I can identify and observe my emotions without needing to run from them. I am grateful that I can visualize being separate from my emotions, and I can direct myself to calm down or to let go of any emotion. I am grateful for the opportunity to slow down, breath, and to see myself with more compassion, kindness and patience.    
    • What are you grateful for?
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________
    • ___________________________________________________________________

©Ryan Lewis Counseling / Integrative Wellness PLLC 2019

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