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Attend and Befriend

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today we're going to talk about how we can use a practice called attend and befriend in times of fear or stress? Now, lately, around the world, most of us have been living with a lot of uncertainty, and a pretty big chunk of difficulty, too. And for many of us, all that uncertainty and kind of difficulty translates to feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. Really what we're talking about here is a lot of fear because stress and anxiety are really code words for fear. And fear is a powerful, psychological and physiological response.

Our brains primary response to fear is what we often call fight or flight response. And here's the thing, when that fight or flight response is activated in our brain, fear can actually take over. It can hijack other areas of the brain, making it really difficult for us to be at our best. When fear takes over, we become emotionally reactive rather than rational. We find it difficult to think clearly.

We often lose sight of the big picture and problem solving for the future becomes difficult. So how can we self-regulate in situations like this? One way to bring those smart parts of the brain back online and to soothe our nervous system and regulate our emotions is through this practice of attending to and befriending our difficult emotions. So let's give this a try together. Now, just take a moment and think about how fear, you might call it, stress or anxiety have shown up in your life lately. Just bringing that to mind.

And now just notice where your mind has gone. What kind of thoughts are arising? And just noticing are these thoughts, ones that have been maybe coming up a lot lately. And as these thoughts arise, just noticing too, what emotions start to rise up in response to those thoughts. So just tuning into and actually feeling those emotions for a moment. So just noticing them attending to them.

And this is the first step to the practice, to shift your attention out of the thoughts and into the body, into what you're actually feeling. So if you could name this feeling, what would you call it? Is it sadness? Is it stress? Is it anxiety? And just mentally now naming the emotion. So you might be mentally saying to yourself, Aah, I'm feeling anxiety. Or, Ahh, I'm feeling stressed. And the befriending part involves the attitude to which we want to attend to this feeling.

We want to attend to it with compassion and kindness. So can you bring the same attitude towards your distress or pain that you might bring to a loved one who was hurting? So just attending to the feelings in your body with a sense of kindness, a sense of befriending it, rather than rejecting it or pushing it away. So when we attend and befriend like this, we soothe our nervous system, unhook ourselves from the fear response and can become calm and clear-headed in the middle of it all. So just knowing that you can remember this practice in times of fear or stress. You can attend and befriend.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. I hope this practice is a great support to you in the days to come. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

Attend and Befriend

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today we're going to talk about how we can use a practice called attend and befriend in times of fear or stress? Now, lately, around the world, most of us have been living with a lot of uncertainty, and a pretty big chunk of difficulty, too. And for many of us, all that uncertainty and kind of difficulty translates to feelings of anxiety, stress, and overwhelm. Really what we're talking about here is a lot of fear because stress and anxiety are really code words for fear. And fear is a powerful, psychological and physiological response.

Our brains primary response to fear is what we often call fight or flight response. And here's the thing, when that fight or flight response is activated in our brain, fear can actually take over. It can hijack other areas of the brain, making it really difficult for us to be at our best. When fear takes over, we become emotionally reactive rather than rational. We find it difficult to think clearly.

We often lose sight of the big picture and problem solving for the future becomes difficult. So how can we self-regulate in situations like this? One way to bring those smart parts of the brain back online and to soothe our nervous system and regulate our emotions is through this practice of attending to and befriending our difficult emotions. So let's give this a try together. Now, just take a moment and think about how fear, you might call it, stress or anxiety have shown up in your life lately. Just bringing that to mind.

And now just notice where your mind has gone. What kind of thoughts are arising? And just noticing are these thoughts, ones that have been maybe coming up a lot lately. And as these thoughts arise, just noticing too, what emotions start to rise up in response to those thoughts. So just tuning into and actually feeling those emotions for a moment. So just noticing them attending to them.

And this is the first step to the practice, to shift your attention out of the thoughts and into the body, into what you're actually feeling. So if you could name this feeling, what would you call it? Is it sadness? Is it stress? Is it anxiety? And just mentally now naming the emotion. So you might be mentally saying to yourself, Aah, I'm feeling anxiety. Or, Ahh, I'm feeling stressed. And the befriending part involves the attitude to which we want to attend to this feeling.

We want to attend to it with compassion and kindness. So can you bring the same attitude towards your distress or pain that you might bring to a loved one who was hurting? So just attending to the feelings in your body with a sense of kindness, a sense of befriending it, rather than rejecting it or pushing it away. So when we attend and befriend like this, we soothe our nervous system, unhook ourselves from the fear response and can become calm and clear-headed in the middle of it all. So just knowing that you can remember this practice in times of fear or stress. You can attend and befriend.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. I hope this practice is a great support to you in the days to come. And now let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.6

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