Hi, I’m Melli. I am a writer, speaker, mindfulness teacher and co-founder and co-host of Mindfulness.com.
A couple of years ago, I discovered a 4-step mindfulness process that offers ‘in-the-trenches’ support for working with intense and difficult emotions. It has been an ally for me in the moments I needed mindfulness the most.
It’s called RAIN (which is an acronym for the 4 steps of the process).
Here are the 4 steps in brief…
1. R Recognize what is happening
2. A Allow life to be just as it is
3. I Investigate inner experience
4. N Non-Identification
Here’s how you can use the RAIN method in a difficult time…
R: The “R” in the R.A.I.N method stands for ‘Recognize.’
Take a moment to recognize that a strong emotion is present and gently turn towards what you’re experiencing in an open and non-judgemental way.
Tune in to the direct present moment experience of what is happening in your body and mind… the emotions, the thoughts and sensations that are here.
It can be helpful to mentally name it, for example, “I am feeling stressed” or “I am feeling overwhelmed.” This recognition of what your feeling, opens up inner space and brings you into full contact with yourself and the actuality of the present moment.
A: The “A” in R.A.I.N stands for ‘Allow.’
Allowing means to ‘let it be as it is.’ It is the acknowledgement and acceptance of your present moment reality. Allowing doesn’t mean we have to like the situation. It means we aims to soften (or drop) our mental resistance to what is happening.
The reason this is so important is because we often have the unconscious impulse to push away, suppress or ignore difficult emotions. When we engage in an inner struggle in these ways, we unknowingly create more suffering and tension.
In this unconscious struggle we also tend to get ‘caught up’ in our thoughts and emotions, therefore we are more likely to react rather than being able to choose a conscious response.
By allowing, we’re able to bring an inner ‘yes’ to our present moment experience. You may notice almost immediately a sense of softening and ease around the emotion.