Anger, sadness, fear, jealousy, sorrow… Do not be tricked, you can not just eliminate them or erase them from the repertoire of your feelings.
These emotions very often intertwine with thoughts that deepen them and grow like a snowball. And finally… we act out on the people who are closest to us, friends, employees of the supermarket, or anyone else who happens to be in our way… we reach for chocolate… cigarettes… alcohol… to automatically enter into behaviors that are both destructive for us and bring only a momentary discharge or relief.
In this post I would like to introduce you to a new way to deal with them. The RAIN technique, taken from mindfulness. It requires practice and consistency, it won’t become effective straight after reading this post. However, consistent and conscious use of it comes into habit and becomes more and more natural and beneficial.
This technique consists of four clear steps.
R (Recognise) – stop and recognise what is happening in you, name the emotion you feel.
A (Accept) – accept this feeling as it is. That is in reality, stay with it in harmony. Do not deny it, do not ignore it and do not try to change it. (this is also one of the key elements in the Acceptance and Commitment Therapy).
I (Investigate) – explore it! It is not about searching for causes, which can only increase the snowball even more (and you probably already know this anyway!). Rather, stop HERE and NOW. Watch yourself. What’s happening in your body? What thoughts and beliefs appear in your mind? Do not judge, just register. Is there anything more? Maybe some reflection from this experience?
N (Non-identyfication) – do not identify yourself with this emotion. You are not your emotions or thoughts. This is the feeling that arises in you, this is not who you are. Between you and this emotion is a space, distance. This emotion will pass away and a new one will appear in its place, it will change.
Use this method whenever you feel emotions that are difficult for you. For simplicity, you can print these 4 steps. Practice, and soon it will become a natural way for you to deal with these emotions.
Observe yourself, what changes take place in you every time you use this technique?