Time to Reflect and Pause – A Practical Exercise

By December 10, 2019Blog

Take three or four deep diaphragmatic breaths. Notice how the breath feels in your throat, as it fills your lungs, and as it stretches your diaphragm. ⁠

While breathing slowly, notice how you feel inside your body, particularly your stomach and chest. Notice your neck and shoulders and face. ⁠

Now notice how you feel emotionally. Just keep your attention on the feeling till you have a sense of it. Describe that feeling to yourself. Label it. Notice the strength of the feeling. Find words to describe the intensity. Notice if the emotion is growing or diminishing. If the emotion were a wave, at what point of the wave are you now— ascending on the leading edge, on the crest, beginning to slide down the far side? ⁠

Now notice any changes in the feeling. Are there other emotions beginning to weave into the first one? Describe to yourself any new emotions that have appeared. Just keep watching and looking for words to describe the slightest change in the quality or intensity of your feelings.⁠

As you continue to watch, you may notice a need to block the emotion, to push it away. That’s normal, but try to keep watching your emotions for just a little while longer. Just keep describing to yourself what you feel and noticing any changes. ⁠

And breathe.⁠