Updated: Oct 9, 2020
World Mental Health Day is the 10th October 2020 - this week I'll be sharing a meditation recording everyday to support mental health and well-being using some of the tools from the iRest protocol, an evidence-based practice - iRest has been used by many public institutions in the US including the US military to treat stress, anxiety and PTSD.
It's useful to take mindful pauses throughout the day in addition to longer meditation practices. When we take short breaks we can consciously begin to re-train the nervous system particularly if we are feeling stressed or anxious which means the nervous system is over-active.
In this iRest tool L.W.E.D - Locate. Welcome. Experience. Describe - you are being asked to take time to explore the body sensations that make up your feelings and emotions.
For example, if I'm feeling anger I might describe the sensations as tension across my neck and shoulders, heat across my cheeks and agitation in my fingers. This is important because when we take the time to pause and notice what's going on the body, we are less likely to react, and just by sitting with the emotions, they usually subside to the point our rational thinking mind comes back into play. We have all sent an angry email in the office, only to regret it moments later.
In her book, My Stroke Of Insight, brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor, describes our ability to regulate that neurological process that create our emotional response in the something she calls the 90-second rule: “When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens; any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”
Access the iRest tool L.W.E.D here: