Always a popular session, the group took time out this week to become stilled and to relax. Group members shared their various positive experiences of mindfulness sessions or groups, and how beneficial this had been in learning to manage extreme anxiety and to have a way of coping with and calming tumultuous thoughts, to attend and respond to emotionally demanding situations from a place of stillness rather than on the back of drama.
First of all we did a relaxing body scan, just allowing ourselves to be aware of our breathing and each part of our bodies and grounded. We then moved on to an exercise of being aware of what emotions we had and welcoming all emotions as they are there to show us something but also that there is something in the naming of emotions that helps us to recognise and calm them, as the following paragraph explains:
“The practice of mindfulness affords individuals a way of cultivating deep respect for, rather than avoiding, emotions. Cultivating a deep respect for emotions means appreciating and honoring what is unfolding moment by moment. When one nourishes whatever emotion arises, one greets it as an honored guest with an important message to deliver, rather than an enemy to contend with. In embracing and befriending whatever arises, mindfulness makes it possible for the individual to savor and realize more refined emotions.” (Khong, B.S.L. Mindfulness (2011) 2: 27)