i like to think that generally im an optimistic, glass-half-full kinda person (even though im also an anxious over-thinker at times, but lets ignore that for now).
unfortunately, this also means that on occasion, i have to deal with an unfortunate side-effect of this mentality, which is feeling bad about feeling bad.
recently though, i came across a framework for handling challenging emotions. it was briefly mentioned in a podcast episode but as i dug deeper into it, i came to realise and apply the benefits of this approach. it's called 'the RAIN method' - something invented by Tara Brach, a psychologist, author and spiritual guru of sorts. The RAIN in this case, is an acronym for Recognise, Allow, Investigate, Nurture.
I cannot even begin to tell how much this has helped me. Basically every time I feel uncomfortable, I try to recognise what that feeling is - often times i'm not just 'feeling crap', i'm actually overwhelmed, or anxious, or hungry, or just bored. identifying the feeling helps me with the third step, but before i get to that, i mentally say to myself 'im going to allow myself to feel this way' (the A). it sounds cheesy af, but that permission is so important for someone who feels like they shouldn't be feeling bad. then, i move on to investigate why im feeling the feeling identified in step 1; actually being curious allows me to step away from the emotion for a second and externalise the situation. and finally, my favourite step is nurture. This is where i get to ask myself 'what can i do to help me feel better?' - again, cheesy, but phrasing it in this way allows me to really think of a solution that is helpful. maybe its just taking a shower or having a quiet night to myself. the point is, when i ask myself this, i hardly ever answer 'just go eat random food' or 'go scroll on instagram'. i'm able to be more mindful and kind to myself.
i know it sounds like its one of those 'easier said than done' stuff, but the acronym makes it easy to remember the steps and go through it swiftly, so it's actually quite easy to do. it has been such a game-changer and i hope it might help someone else too (: