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How to Meet Fear With Love

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 to use love and compassion to soothe anxiety and stress and bring ease and calm to our minds. So a lot of the time when emotions like anxiety or stress arise, we respond by trying to push them away or fight with them. That tends to intensify the difficult feelings, rev our nervous system up and pull us into reactivity and struggle. But what would happen instead of fearing the anxiety, fighting with the anxiety, if we met it with kindness and compassion? Although it might sound a little bit counter-intuitive to bring love to your anxiety, it's actually a really powerful way to regulate your emotions, soothe your nervous system and find in a calm.

So according to Professor Paul Gilbert, we have three types of emotional regulation systems. So we've got the threat system, the drive system and the soothing system. The threat system focuses on self protection. So that's our fight or flight response. The drive system is reward focused.

It's involved in wanting, striving, achieving, and consuming. And the soothing system focuses on bonding and connection. It involves kindness, caring, and play. In the soothing system, we feel more safe. We feel more relaxed.

We feel content and we feel connected. Now when we're experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, we often get stuck with our threat system, turned on. Basically we get stuck in a fear response. And if we're responding to that fear, that anxiety, that stress by fighting it or denying it, the emotions, as I said, become more intense, they get prolonged. But if we can bring compassion and kindness to what we're feeling, we switch on that soothing system.

And we start to surround our anxiety in soothing softness and kindness. When we switch on this soothing system, our brain releases oxytocin. We get this squirt of soothing and feel good hormones into our bodies. And oxytocin is often called the cuddle hormone because it makes us feel a sense of love, of relaxation, of wellbeing. So by practicing self compassion and kindness in these moments, what happens really is we stop ourselves from getting caught in a vicious cycle.

We stop throwing fuel on the fire of difficult emotions so they can just pass through us more easily. We also soothe our nervous system and bring kindness and presence to ourselves when we need it the most. So in today's meditation, we'll practice this skill a little bit more. Bringing loving kindness to our feelings, to ourselves and to whatever arises. So I invite you to settle in for that now.

And of course, as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

How to Meet Fear With Love

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 to use love and compassion to soothe anxiety and stress and bring ease and calm to our minds. So a lot of the time when emotions like anxiety or stress arise, we respond by trying to push them away or fight with them. That tends to intensify the difficult feelings, rev our nervous system up and pull us into reactivity and struggle. But what would happen instead of fearing the anxiety, fighting with the anxiety, if we met it with kindness and compassion? Although it might sound a little bit counter-intuitive to bring love to your anxiety, it's actually a really powerful way to regulate your emotions, soothe your nervous system and find in a calm.

So according to Professor Paul Gilbert, we have three types of emotional regulation systems. So we've got the threat system, the drive system and the soothing system. The threat system focuses on self protection. So that's our fight or flight response. The drive system is reward focused.

It's involved in wanting, striving, achieving, and consuming. And the soothing system focuses on bonding and connection. It involves kindness, caring, and play. In the soothing system, we feel more safe. We feel more relaxed.

We feel content and we feel connected. Now when we're experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, we often get stuck with our threat system, turned on. Basically we get stuck in a fear response. And if we're responding to that fear, that anxiety, that stress by fighting it or denying it, the emotions, as I said, become more intense, they get prolonged. But if we can bring compassion and kindness to what we're feeling, we switch on that soothing system.

And we start to surround our anxiety in soothing softness and kindness. When we switch on this soothing system, our brain releases oxytocin. We get this squirt of soothing and feel good hormones into our bodies. And oxytocin is often called the cuddle hormone because it makes us feel a sense of love, of relaxation, of wellbeing. So by practicing self compassion and kindness in these moments, what happens really is we stop ourselves from getting caught in a vicious cycle.

We stop throwing fuel on the fire of difficult emotions so they can just pass through us more easily. We also soothe our nervous system and bring kindness and presence to ourselves when we need it the most. So in today's meditation, we'll practice this skill a little bit more. Bringing loving kindness to our feelings, to ourselves and to whatever arises. So I invite you to settle in for that now.

And of course, as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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