I’ve had the great pleasure of developing a relationship with Dr. Elisha Goldstein who writes the blog “Mindfulness and Psychotherapy” for Psych Central. I’m featuring an interview with him coming up, but I wanted to link to one of his recent blogs called “Surviving Depression: A Mindful Way.” He writes:
When we notice the struggle, we want to breathe in and acknowledge the mind and while we breathe out we can say to ourselves “It’s Ok.” So if the mind is anxious, just breathing in and saying “anxious mind”, breathing out “it’s ok”.
As you do this the mind may eventually change to a different feeling. See if you can notice this and then shift with it. It may start feeling fuzzy and so you can switch now to “breathing in, fuzzy, breathing out, it’s ok.”
Tip: Notice any judgments arising right now when reading this, “this will never work for me” or “nothing is going to change how I feel, how stupid.” These judgments are likely well known to you and have become automatic. If they arise, just see if you can acknowledge them as just thoughts, let them be, and gently bring your attention back to the page. If this happens while you practicing, again, just ackowledge the thoughts as thoughts, let them be, and come back to the practice.
To deepen: When practicing, you may or may not notice tears come. However, you may feel a sense that tears are about to come, but there is a holding back. If you feel safe enough, see if you can tell yourself “Whatever is here is ok…let me feel it.” You can do this with the practice by saying “breathing in, acknowledging what is here, breathing out, let me feel it.” As the feeling comes, just continue to breathe with it and let it be. Let your body lead, if it feels like moving to the bed or laying on the couch, go ahead and do that and just stay with it, without judgment.