Supportive Resources and Practices

INTEGRATE THE WORK

AFTER DAY 1

A new take on self-care.  Play with an activity or two, something you ‘desire’ from your heart, distinguishing from activities that emerge from ‘should’ statements.

Set an intention: Practice a stress mitigation tool to integrate when you notice cortisol rising (dissociation/anxiety/physical discomfort).

Stroke of Insight TED TALK (19 min)

OPTIONAL: Self-Compassion break/meditation by Dr. Kristin Neff (5 min) 

Emotional Freedom Technique Tutorial (Founder Gary Craig)

Audio Tapping Meditations by The Tapping Solution

Letting go of the past (Using EFT with the Movie Technique)

AFTER DAY 2

Prep for Integration session #1: IKAGAI TED TALK (20 min), IKIGAI AND CALLING HAND OUTS (please either print or have an electronic version available to work on for April 17th.).

Mindfulness Tip: If you are keen to try sustained mindfulness (meditation) but struggling to stay focussed/enter into a relaxed state try Binaural Beats (head phones required!) to promote relaxing brain wave states (great for busy minds and evidence-based).  There are many versions available via streaming apps, youtube, or free online sites. Link to an example

Suggested meditations to try on:

Mind Valley – 6 Phase meditation, 

Self-Compassion break/meditation by Dr. Kristin Neff (5 min) 

OTHER SUPPORTIVE RESOURCES

Self-compassionate body scan (Researcher, Kristin Neff) – 25 minutes

Relaxation body scan cultivating loving kindness – 20 minutes (Affirmation Pod with Josie Ong)

Breath work

Controlled breathing techniques improve mental function, support our ability to focus, heighten mood, and reduce cortisol levels (Ma, Yue, Gong, Zhang, Duan, Shi, Wei, & Li, 2017; Perciavalle, Blandini, Fecarotta, Buscemi, Di Corrado, Bertolo, Fichera, & Coco, 2017). Below, are examples of controlled breathing techniques that can have a variety of benefits, including interrupting the sympathetic nervous system/stress response. Breathing in these ways requires concentration, enabling an ability to step back from self-destructive thoughts and triggers relaxation by both interrupting the fight-flight-freeze response and releasing beneficial hormones that relaxes our muscles, lowers our heart rate and blood pressure. It is common to feel dizzy when doing these techniques, so remember to start slow and to avoid doing during certain activities, such as driving. Try each one and determine which one’s appeal to you.

  • The 4-7-8 technique: Beginning with emptying your lungs with an exhale through the mouth, then inhaling for 4 seconds through the nose, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling again through the mouth for 8 seconds. Start with a up to four cycles.
  • The 4×4 technique: Exhale through your mouth to empty your lungs, then breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale from your mouth for four seconds, hold for four seconds, breathe in through your nose for four seconds, etc. Start with four breaths to begin and adapt according to your desire, timing, and ability.
  • Breath of fire: A yogic pranayama practice involving closed eyes and mouth and rapid breath with a focus on snapping the naval back to the spine on each exhale. To start, limit these sessions to 15 seconds.
  • Sighs: A longer exhale and two-second pause before inhaling results in a release of physiological tension in those who are anxiety prone (Viemincx, Van Diest, & Van den Bergh, 2016).
  • To build concentration (improving your ability to sustain mindfulness/meditation): Observe your breath counting on each exhale up to 5 and then start again at 1.  If you need a challenge, count up to 10.

Strategic re-orientation

  1. To cultivate heartfulness and improve your ability to sit with uncomfortable emotions: move your breath work to your heart, imaging the breath being filtered through your heart.  When discomfort arises, breathe it into your heart and as it passes through your heart’s filter, imagine it being transmuted into light and exhaled from your body.
  2. To generate loving kindness and sustain concentration use a mantra.  For example, silently repeating to yourself “mercy” on your inhale as you take in a sense of unconditional positive regard for self and repeating “compassion” as you exhale this sense of unconditional positive regard for others.

Re-orienting thoughts – Is it True, adapted from Byron Katie’s Loving What Is:

  1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
  2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
  3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?
  4. Who would you be without the thought?
  5. Turn the thought around (now that you have some objectivity, embrace reality and cultivate optimism).

Re-orienting thoughts – engage positive emotions with gratitude:

We will not embrace a positive orientation unless we engage a positive emotion to accompany the change in perspective.  Gratitude is the most effective way to re-orient a negative emotion.  Rather than thinking about what you need/want in the future, think about how far you have come and about the blessings you have received thus far.  Writing these things down can help with focus and concentration, enabling you to immerse in the positive emotion.  The more you immerse, the more effectively you can interrupt negative through rumination, cultivating a more optimistic perspective (this improves your ability to creatively manage/resolve events rather than feeling threatened by them).

Re-orienting and developing self-compassion: Loving-kindness exercises

Short Version:guided by Livia Walsh (UCSD)- 3 minute Loving-Kindness

Long Version guided by Cassandra Gruff (UCSD) – 20 minute Inward Loving-Kindness

Version 1: 20-Minute Body Scan Audio (UCSD – Male)

Version 2: 20-Minute Body Scan Audio (UCSD – Female)

Re-orienting relationships with others

Practice a loving-kindness exercise when irritation/threats emerge (visualize them with you and send them a blessing…may you be happy, may you be healthy, may you be free of suffering, or you can filter the emotion through the heart/transmute it to light and send it their way, etc.)

Generating Compassion: guided by Steven Hickman UCSD) – 15 minutes Cultivating Compassion

Working with Difficult Emotions

As we drop into our inner worlds, we often have to work through wounds from the past, which can bring up difficult emotions and a resistance to staying in the inner world.  A useful tool, enabling us to work through our pain, rather than avoid it, is the RAIN acronym.  RAIN helps us stay open to the inner world, despite the unhealed trauma we encounter there.   It has four steps: 1. Recognize what is going on; 2. Allow the experience to be, just as it is; 3. Investigate your inner experience with kindness, while 4. Non-identifying with your experience.  Tara Brach’s website provides more details and some useful guided meditations (link to Tara Brach).

Working with Trauma – The Freeze Response

Freezy Business Podcast by Organic Intelligence

The Free Unified Mindfulness Training helps to Re-orient by Bringing our Thinking into Congruence with the Environment

Additional Sustained Mindfulness (Meditation) Support

Binaural Beats, MUSE/EEG Meditation Headbands (neurofeedback, promoting relaxation states), Breath Counting (as noted above), Chakra Clearing (Greg De Vries version), Mind Valley’s 6-Phase Meditation with Binaural Beats (headphones are ideal to get the benefits of binaural beats).

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