This morning I had a real life reminder of why the RAIN technique is so amazing. I was working really well when one of my managers emailed me in a very direct way challenging me about an email I had sent. It wasn’t anything serious but it totally got my stress response going.
I could feel a tightening in my chest and noticed my whole body tense up. The flight or flight response was definitely triggered.
So rather than letting this small incident ruin my morning I used the RAIN technique to calm myself down and to deal with the stress.
Recognising the feeling was the first step. Anxiety was definitely what I was experiencing and I could feel the physical difference in my body. Noticing this meant I could implement the tools to sort myself out.
Accepting, was the next step. Rather than resisting the feeling of anxiety I allowed myself to accept that it was a normal reaction to the situation. I didn’t beat myself up over it, on the contrary I was pleased I had the presence of mind to notice it.
Investigating the feeling further involved exploring the sensation with my mind and then recognising the further effect that I had on the sensation. By tensing up physically I was making my breathing more shallow. By noticing this I was able to adjust my body to breathe more deeply. Investigating got me closer to the feeling and allowed me to become more comfortable with it. This was much more effective than trying to push it away.
Non-Identification. This final step is my favourite. I like to make this add a little humour to any situation. I recognised the anxiety as being a separate being by saying ‘Hi Miss Anxiety’…’back are you?’. This gave me a giggle and then I moved on. Perfect. She popped back a few more times and I said hi again. Eventually she got bored of the situation and left me alone. I was not my anxiety, I was separate from it. There was some distance between us.
Whatever the difficult feeling that you are grappling with try this technique. You will be amazed at the relief it provides.
Come on a Revitalise session to learn more effective ways to deal with difficult thoughts and emotions. You can’t change how other people behave but you can change the way that you react to them.