There are times when our minds can feel clouded with worry and anxiety. We may feel the judgement of others weighing on us heavily. Or we may become overwhelmed by trying to meet the standards that others set for us, or the standards we set for ourselves. In times like these, we might forget to slow down and truly work through these difficult emotions. One helpful way to ease anxiety is through the RAIN mindfulness practice.
Begin by stepping away from your task at hand and making yourself comfortable. Focus on your breathing through out. Start to recognize what is going on and take note of your anxious thoughts and feelings circling in your head.
Next, allow yourself to take in what is happening by breathing and letting it be as it is. Even if you don’t enjoy what you’re experiencing, it is still valid. In this moment, you don’t have to fix or change anything. Allow yourself to not judge yourself for feeling anxious. This step gives us permission to collect and deepen our attention on our present emotions.
Then, take some time to investigate what feels most difficult. You might even direct your attention to the feelings of anxiety in your body, like a rapid heart beat, physical tightness or pressure in your chest. Ask yourself what your current anxiety is telling you and question if those fears are really true. Afterwards, be sure to also ask yourself what you might need right now, whether that is self-care, reassurance or putting more trust in yourself.
Lastly, begin to nurture yourself. Give yourself reassuring messages that you’ll be alright, that you’ve been through difficult things before and you can make it through again. As you do this, notice the shift in your body too, as your shoulder relax, your breath evens and your mind feels more clear and open.
The Benefits of RAIN
The RAIN mindfulness practice is a nice reset to clear our worried minds. It’s a way to give ourselves a time out and question the storyline we are telling ourselves (to see if it’s actually true). After the practice, our thoughts will more easily flow and we may feel more clarity and open heartedness. RAIN doesn’t guarantee that our anxieties will go away; but they are less likely to take over and consume us. If you want to try a 12 minute guided RAIN meditation, click here.