Anger Iceberg is one of the best diagrams of anger I have seen. It’s so helpful to see how anger is really just a feeling that covers up so many more vulnerable feelings. It is worth printing out and reflecting on.
Breathing Practice: This is a recorded breathing practice I used in a recent stress and anxiety class that I taught. It is a wonderfully simple, yet potent, practice that breaks down the breath into four parts.
Compassion Practice: This practice can be done anywhere that people congregate (airports, malls, parks, beaches, etc.) It may also be done on family members, difficult people, friends or those who have hurt you. Do all steps on the same person. With the attention on the person, repeat to yourself, “Just like me, this person is seeking some happiness in their life.” Pause, next statement, “Just like me, this person is trying to avoid offering in their life.” Pause, next statement, “Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.” Pause, next statement, “Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill their needs.” Pause, next statement, “Just like me, this person is learning about life.” Pause and notice how you feel.
Email Mindfully: I came across this practice the other day, and, since so much of today’s correspondence is through email, I thought it would be worth sharing. Try this: Type out your email. Before you hit send, take three deep breaths. Follow your breath in and out. Then read the email from the perspective of the person who will receive it. Consider how the recipient will receive this information. By taking a few extra moments to contemplate what you have written, you have a chance to either change it or send it as is.
Feeling the Physical Body: Often when we are under stress, our attention is focused on the thoughts and the external circumstances. It is easy to become disconnected from the body. This is a practice that I often use to bring the attention back to the body.
Forgiveness Meditation: I find forgiveness to be one of the most interesting, difficult and inspiring aspects of being human. Yet with that being said, I still aspire to make it a part of my life. A mentor gave me this meditation and I find it to be very helpful. I appreciate the last line in each section, “I offer forgiveness as much as is possible in this moment.”
Mountain Visualization: I will often use this visualization for clients to help them relax and imagine a delightfully peaceful place in the mountains.