Following on from mindful self-compassion. I am conscious of the fact that practicing mindfulness when you are in the midst of great emotional distress is not easy. Like any skill it takes practice and the more you practice the easier it gets.
Practicing turning inwards, focussing on your 5 senses, what can you smell, what can you feel, taste, hear and see. This takes the attention away from the feelings of distress, the ruminating thoughts and stops you lingering in the chaos of your feelings and emotions. Take some deep breaths and talk to yourself gently as if you were a child. Reassure yourself that you are safe and you are strong. It is called self-soothing and is a valuable skill for regulating your emotions and de-escalating the anxiety and distress you are feeling.
If at first you struggle to refocus, do not give in and do not criticise yourself. It is a skill that takes time to develop and master and you are not a failure if you can’t get a handle on it to start with. Keep at it, it is worth the effort. Trust me 🙂
“When circumstances force you to some sort of distress, quickly return to yourself. Do not stay out of rhythm for longer than you must; you will master the harmony the more by constantly going back to it.”Marcus Aurelius – Meditations