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Tend to Your Triggers With Love

Article by
Written on 2020-10-14T07:56:15+00:00

How mindfulness can help deal with stress and grief

The current Covid-19 pandemic has created great uncertainty about our collective and individual future. Apart from this it also presents a variety of threats and fears associated with them including physical, social, emotional, and financial. These threats evoke a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anger, grief to depression. Physical manifestations of these emotions include headaches, insomnia, inability to focus, aches, and pain. Mindfulness can help deal with these emotions and reduce their physical manifestations. It can also help reaffirm your connection with life and your loved ones.

Mindfulness works as a daily antidote for all of these emotions. It helps you acknowledge the situation and the emotion you’re currently undergoing. This helps you return to your centered calm instead of getting carried away emotionally.

Dealing with stress

During high stress, times like, a major cause of stress is the future. The current uncertainty makes it harder to plan for the future and thinking ahead leading to stress and a lack of control. The absence of this lack of control leads to speculative stress- things that could go wrong in the future. Speculative stress creates a loop that leads to constant emotional upheaval.

Mindfulness can help with this by activating your prefrontal context- the area of the brain in charge of executive functioning which reduces emotional activation. This helps you stay calm and in the moment. It also helps you connect with awareness and let these thoughts go without focusing attention on them. It helps you bring back your attention to the moment. Between emotion and action, there is a choice that mindfulness inserts that allows you to respond rather than simply react.

Dealing with sadness, grief, and depression

One of the landmark emotional shifts this pandemic has caused is the nature of the grief you experience. While we know this situation is temporary it doesn’t feel that way. Grief takes on many forms, the loss of loved ones, the loss of normalcy, the loss of jobs and the overall loss of being connected to others. We’re all grieving at the same time and none of us are used to this collective mourning. This sadness is like a fog it hangs in the air.

There are various forms this sadness and grief can take: denial- this virus can’t affect me; I’m taking all the right precautions. There’s anger- I have to stay at home and can’t do any of the things I like. There’s anticipatory anxiety- what if something happens to my parents or children despite all precautions? And then there’s sadness at the loss of a loved one, or someone who is sick, or in not knowing when this will end.

The first step of dealing with this grief is naming it. If you can name it you can begin to manage it. Mindfulness is a brilliant tool for identifying and labeling emotions. It helps you consciously acknowledge what you feel and without judgment accept it and its temporariness.

One of the most common responses to grief and depression is a tendency to withdraw from the world. To go inside and keep to yourself. Sadness turns us away from others. In these times practicing mindfulness can help manage this pain. By mindfully accepting and acknowledging your sadness you can let it go. It helps remind you of the transience of the emotion and redraws your attention to the moment.

By practicing mindfulness, you can prevent brooding and unhealthy rumination which is a general consequence of turning inwards. By helping you focus on the present it prevents you from contemplating worst-case scenarios and catastrophic outcomes. Grief also presents itself in waves of emotion. Waves of feelings that feel impossible to control. At these times mindfulness can help, for rather than try to control them, it helps you ride them out.

Lastly, experiencing these emotions is normal. It helps to remind yourself of this daily. We grieve the loss of what we care about. To avoid these feelings, you would have to avoid love and caring altogether. Remembering this connection can help bring you solace and peace.

For sadness and depression here’s the perfect mindful meditation you can use.

Before you begin you need to write a grounding statement. When you get caught in a cycle of rumination or repetitive thoughts or reliving past moments of pain, a grounding statement helps you return to the present moment. Your grounding statement should include the following points:

1. Where you are and what day it is.

2. That you are safe in the present moment.

3. What has changed now, compared to the past?

4. A note of affirmation.

E.g. It is the 20th of September and I am in my living room. I am safe here. My memories of the past cannot hurt me, they are just memories. I know that I am loved.

Now find a quiet spot to sit and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds. Then hold your breath for 1 second and slowly exhale for another 4 seconds. Continue this for 4 cycles. Now as you breathe in gently recite your grounding statement. Repeat this for another 4 cycles. Gently open your eyes and note the difference in how you feel.

While the current pandemic has affected your relationship with others, let it not affect the one you share with yourself.

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blog

Tend to Your Triggers With Love

Article by
Written on 2020-10-14T07:56:15+00:00

How mindfulness can help deal with stress and grief

The current Covid-19 pandemic has created great uncertainty about our collective and individual future. Apart from this it also presents a variety of threats and fears associated with them including physical, social, emotional, and financial. These threats evoke a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anger, grief to depression. Physical manifestations of these emotions include headaches, insomnia, inability to focus, aches, and pain. Mindfulness can help deal with these emotions and reduce their physical manifestations. It can also help reaffirm your connection with life and your loved ones.

Mindfulness works as a daily antidote for all of these emotions. It helps you acknowledge the situation and the emotion you’re currently undergoing. This helps you return to your centered calm instead of getting carried away emotionally.

Dealing with stress

During high stress, times like, a major cause of stress is the future. The current uncertainty makes it harder to plan for the future and thinking ahead leading to stress and a lack of control. The absence of this lack of control leads to speculative stress- things that could go wrong in the future. Speculative stress creates a loop that leads to constant emotional upheaval.

Mindfulness can help with this by activating your prefrontal context- the area of the brain in charge of executive functioning which reduces emotional activation. This helps you stay calm and in the moment. It also helps you connect with awareness and let these thoughts go without focusing attention on them. It helps you bring back your attention to the moment. Between emotion and action, there is a choice that mindfulness inserts that allows you to respond rather than simply react.

Dealing with sadness, grief, and depression

One of the landmark emotional shifts this pandemic has caused is the nature of the grief you experience. While we know this situation is temporary it doesn’t feel that way. Grief takes on many forms, the loss of loved ones, the loss of normalcy, the loss of jobs and the overall loss of being connected to others. We’re all grieving at the same time and none of us are used to this collective mourning. This sadness is like a fog it hangs in the air.

There are various forms this sadness and grief can take: denial- this virus can’t affect me; I’m taking all the right precautions. There’s anger- I have to stay at home and can’t do any of the things I like. There’s anticipatory anxiety- what if something happens to my parents or children despite all precautions? And then there’s sadness at the loss of a loved one, or someone who is sick, or in not knowing when this will end.

The first step of dealing with this grief is naming it. If you can name it you can begin to manage it. Mindfulness is a brilliant tool for identifying and labeling emotions. It helps you consciously acknowledge what you feel and without judgment accept it and its temporariness.

One of the most common responses to grief and depression is a tendency to withdraw from the world. To go inside and keep to yourself. Sadness turns us away from others. In these times practicing mindfulness can help manage this pain. By mindfully accepting and acknowledging your sadness you can let it go. It helps remind you of the transience of the emotion and redraws your attention to the moment.

By practicing mindfulness, you can prevent brooding and unhealthy rumination which is a general consequence of turning inwards. By helping you focus on the present it prevents you from contemplating worst-case scenarios and catastrophic outcomes. Grief also presents itself in waves of emotion. Waves of feelings that feel impossible to control. At these times mindfulness can help, for rather than try to control them, it helps you ride them out.

Lastly, experiencing these emotions is normal. It helps to remind yourself of this daily. We grieve the loss of what we care about. To avoid these feelings, you would have to avoid love and caring altogether. Remembering this connection can help bring you solace and peace.

For sadness and depression here’s the perfect mindful meditation you can use.

Before you begin you need to write a grounding statement. When you get caught in a cycle of rumination or repetitive thoughts or reliving past moments of pain, a grounding statement helps you return to the present moment. Your grounding statement should include the following points:

1. Where you are and what day it is.

2. That you are safe in the present moment.

3. What has changed now, compared to the past?

4. A note of affirmation.

E.g. It is the 20th of September and I am in my living room. I am safe here. My memories of the past cannot hurt me, they are just memories. I know that I am loved.

Now find a quiet spot to sit and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing. Inhale for 4 seconds. Then hold your breath for 1 second and slowly exhale for another 4 seconds. Continue this for 4 cycles. Now as you breathe in gently recite your grounding statement. Repeat this for another 4 cycles. Gently open your eyes and note the difference in how you feel.

While the current pandemic has affected your relationship with others, let it not affect the one you share with yourself.

More Articles

Beating the Covid-19 blues: Using routines to re-establish a sense of control

Covid-19 has become a great disruptor of routine in our lives. Here’s how we can combat these daily stressors.

Work from home: Communicating boundaries with your family

We now sit with one eye on the screen and the other on a child or a parent nearby. Over the past few months, we’ve realised work from home brings with it its own set of unique challenges.

Why are influential personalities embracing meditation?

Influential people around the globe aren’t new to the concept of mindfulness, hear from the experts themselves.

Beating the Covid-19 blues: Using routines to re-establish a sense of control

Covid-19 has become a great disruptor of routine in our lives. Here’s how we can combat these daily stressors.

Work from home: Communicating boundaries with your family

We now sit with one eye on the screen and the other on a child or a parent nearby. Over the past few months, we’ve realised work from home brings with it its own set of unique challenges.

Why are influential personalities embracing meditation?

Influential people around the globe aren’t new to the concept of mindfulness, hear from the experts themselves.