Coping with sadness and grief

Pain and sorrow are natural feelings that serve an adaptive purpose. Disappointment helps you change your perspective on life and learn from experiences. These feelings allow you to adapt to changed circumstances, such as after the loss of a job, or a loved one. These feelings deserve your full attention at first. Allow yourself to experience them fully for a while, because there’s no clock, no defined length time on how long you should experience sadness, disappointment, and grief. Healing, adjusting, recovering a zest for life, taking new directions, filling gaps, and exploring the new are processes that start as you experience sadness and grief, and all take time.

There’s not set time as to ‘how long’ is good enough. You only know this.

The issue is that you need to avoid prolonged grieving and watch for any sign that your feelings are persisting past their expiration date. If you find that you become stuck in a downward spiral of paralysis, and you are unable to move forward, then now is the time to distance yourself from sadness and start building resources to grow through life’s challenges. Watch out for signs of becoming depressed, like seeing the world as a hopeless place, isolating yourself, and feeling inadequacy, guilt, shame or low self-worth.

Some resources are demonstrated scientifically to work better than others. Among them:

Gratitude. Counter your sadness and the gloom and doom that accompanies it by listing, every day, three good things that happened today. Keep a journal, or write them on post-it notes, have them readily available.

Get grounded. Some call it living the present, or practicing mindfulness.   Simply take the time to notice what is happening in the here and now. Use your senses,  – vision, hearing, touching, tasting and smelling – to become fully aware of what is going on around you. It is a kind of stop sign, that tells you to stop thinking about the grief and feeling it, if only for a little while.

Get going. There’s a tendency to stop doing the very things that make you happy and it perpetuates the sadness. Write down your moments of fun, and pay attention to activities you used to enjoy. Build them back into your life. Actions and behaviors will impact your feelings positively.

Connect. We’re biologically wired to connect with others. It makes us feel safe, calm, secure, and happy. Grief does the opposite. It disconnects you from others and bring our attention fully to the self. List all the people who are your sources of support. Now reach out to them.

Help others. We’re also wired to give to something larger than ourselves. Grief and sadness collapse awareness and lead to brooding and isolation. Get out of your ego-system and embrace a greater purpose through various contributions of your time such as volunteering.

Value yourself. Take a chance to reflect on your values, strengths and passions, what you do and what defines you. You’ve come so far in life for a reason. Use your strengths to plan how you are going to move on.

Face your sadness. Efforts to numb the pain with alcohol, oversleeping or social media overuse will be temporary. You would be delaying the pain, not erasing it. Escapist behaviors might also have consequences that add to your bag of pains. You only heal by confronting the pain. Allow yourself to cry or grieve in any way that is best for you. Acknowledgement of the pain is the first step toward recovering from it.

We broke up: now what?

Leaving a relationship is difficult and may be one of the most emotionally painful experiences you will live. If you decided to be the ‘quitter’, you may think that this is easier because you are prepared and you have already mentally adjusted. The person being left, your partner, is likely to have more difficulties handling the breakup, as s/he is not fully prepared mentally and emotionally. S/he may have missed the cues, and is taken by surprise. However, leaving is not easy for either side. Each role brings its own issues. In any case, the break up will affect many areas of your life as you pick up the pieces and deal with the disappointment of a broken experience.

A break up affects people at many levels: emotional, social, psychological and material. No matter who breaks the relationship, the partner with the most economic power will “win”, i.e., will suffer the least damage at least in the social and economic realms.  The aftermath of the breakup may result in resentment, retaliation, and anger from your partner and your own anger.  Then there will be material demands such as dividing property, finding a new place to live, deciding on child custody, working with lawyers, and setting new boundaries with your ex partner. This whole process may take weeks or months and even years, as you adjust and rebuild your life and create new beginnings.

You may be hurting right now, even if you are the one who decided to break it off. The pain tells you that you need to heal and learn from this experience. Yet, many of us seem to rush into a new committed relationship before we have had time to take stock about what went wrong and why the relationship ended.

Although we are all different people, breakups follow similar patterns. Moreover, all crises, as they end, follow a similar pattern!

The following may help you make sense of the feelings and situations you may experience with the end of a relationship and other various crises. It is a road map to what to expect over time, until we can say that we have recovered and became wiser about the experience. These feelings and attitudes may happen in succession,  a cycle, or concurrently.

Denial comes first, no matter if we are the one who leaves or the one left behind.  Denial is a wonderful mechanism that allows us to only feel as much pain as we can handle in a given moment. Denial prevents us getting overwhelmed. As we adjust we come back to realities and over time accept what is. Denial subsides gently over weeks, months, or sometimes years.

Acceptance that the relationship has ended breaks denial.  It involves asking honest questions about what caused the separation. If you are the one leaving, part of that work is already done, yet if the separation results in a flare up of destructive emotions involving anger and retaliation, there will be denial as you are experiencing the outcome of your partner’s wrath… and the consequences of enacting your own.

Fear.  We don’t know what comes next as the fabric of our life disintegrates and we have now an empty slate, where we are free to recreate, alone, whatever future we want for ourselves, not knowing whether we have the courage to move on and meet the unknown.

We now slowly start adapting to new circumstances. Some of us are now single parents and must become self-supporting. We have an empty slate. This can be paralyzing.  Unless we can identify and face our fears, the main one being fear of an unknown future, we are likely to experience all of them, unprepared.

The next feeling we experience it of loneliness. Some habits must be altered as you are now totally alone and no longer including another person in what you do. You need to transmute loneliness to aloneness, a state where you are comfortable being on your own and with yourself.

Let’s look at friendship. We may need the presence of friends more than ever when we separate, yet separation and divorce may be threatening to friends as they feel they may have to side, or the separation forces them to question their own relationship. You must be aware that some social relationships will end with the breakup. This may be a time to assess who around you understands the emotional pain you feel and your new status, without rejecting you.

Guilt and rejection are natural feelings during a separation and generally the person who breaks it off feels guilt for hurting the other, while the other feels rejected. Those feelings last as long as the “separation honeymoon”. During that stage everyone tries to behave. Then, within generally three months of the separation, anger is expressed, and the outcomes may be devastating. But, anger is necessary in the process of letting go.

Whether you are the one who leaves, or the one left behind, we brought a lot of our past in that relationship, and the past often determines the present course of events.

Anger can be the most explosive step, and still is absolutely necessary.  Many people discover a brand-new side to themselves and experience rage to an extent they never thought possible. The rage is generally directed at the ex-partner and their property. Rage, if handled properly, is an excellent means to distance yourself emotionally from your ex-partner. In some cases, this emotion becomes extreme, as it also always involves vindictiveness and bitterness. Besides physical harm, an extremely destructive form of expressing anger consists in using the children as a vehicle. If you need to hit below the belt, do not use the children. It is they who will suffer most. Also, remember that if anger could not be expressed in the course of the relationship, it will erupt as you separate and divorce because buried feelings are now allowed to surface.

Grief is the most emotionally draining part of a crisis, yet it is critical to the recovery process. It combines sadness and despair, and may come out as a continuous self talk about the situation, feeling drained, emotional numbness, loss of reality, depression, sleeplessness, significant weight loss, rapid mood changes, and developing illness. A particular note: suicide ideations are common in approximately 75% of persons experiencing grief.

Letting go is another step that happens progressively. It is important to stop investing emotionally in a dead relationship, as this is an investment without chance of return. It is best to invest in your personal growth and fully disentangle. Adopting a no-contact policy for a while and removing mementos are good policy while you still feel fragile. It doesn’t have to be forever.

Then come self-worth. Some relationships that end in separation were destructive to one or both partners’ self-esteem and their sense of self-identity. Self-esteem is often at its lowest when the love relationship ends. To improve self-worth, you must come to terms with the various feelings experienced during a breakup. A separation can become an opportunity for growth and self-discovery. But to do this, you must make a decision to change.

After all this,  there is a period of transition. You want to understand why the relationship ended, perform a kind of autopsy.  This allows you to work on yourself and built different relationships in the future. During that stage, if you do the job, you will understand the various influences  of your family of origins, your social circle, how your own habits and patterns contributed to shaping the relationship. Now is an opportunity to work it all out.  This transition, if well handled, will prepare you to become free to be yourself.  Here are some of the qualities you might work at:

Trust. Build a basic level of trust in yourself as you adjust to singlehood. Too often, we think we cannot trust anyone from the opposite sex anymore after a separation. Loving means to risk being vulnerable again and risking being hurt again. It does not mean that you have to withhold your trust.

Openness. Stop pretending to be someone you are not and to be feeling what you’re not.  It is time to take off the mask and drop the shield. Wearing a mask cannot be sustained over time, as it consumes too much emotional energy and prevents intimate connections. Be yourself, at least with your (new) mate and friends.  Keep the veneer for work and social, non-intimate relationships.

Love. A relationship forces us to ask what love means to us. Often we think that a relationship fails because we are not lovable enough, when in fact it was our partner’s definition of love that was, maybe, not appropriate for us. Learn to love yourself first and foremost, so that you can give love and receive love.

As children, we ought have received unconditional love from our parents. When this was denied to us we turn to our partners and we’re bound to be disappointed because the only unconditional love we can get as adults is the love and unconditional regard we give ourselves.

After a relationship end, we may find another relationship very quickly. It seems that this new relationship has everything which lacked in the previous one. It is not necessarily so. What has happened instead is that we are becoming who we want to be and we are taking back our power and taking responsibility for what we feel as we become clearer about what we want.

Too many people believe that rushing to a new committed, long-term, relationship is going to make them feel ok again. This will not work out. The healthy way to look at those new relationships post-separation is as “rebound.” They are transitional and designed to make you feel whole again. They fulfill the  purpose of making us feel better about ourselves and emphasize passion and romantic love. Yet, be aware that they are built during a needy time in our life. Ensure that your new partner is aware of this. Also learn the skill of healthy termination.

Sex. Conventional wisdom has it that being single guarantees lots of free sex. The other side of the coin is that having a partner ensures stable and safe satisfaction of sexual desires.   People may fall into extremes after a separation: that of no sex at all because of the pain, or that of near compulsive sex, – one night stands – by beaming anger, loneliness, self-doubts to their sex drive. What matters is to find how the emotional aspect of your relationships supports your sexual relationship and whether you can respect your partner and share similar moral value systems about what you consider appropriate sexual behavio

About being single.

There are a few more hurdles that you need to overcome before you can say that you have handled your separation successfully and that you have rebuilt a life to your liking, such as learning to live alone and become once again an independent person. It has drawbacks, especially for women. Single women do not fare well economically compared to single men and couples.  It is also a stage in which you may become stuck for fear of being hurt again if you haven’t done your homework. Look at the benefits: now you have the freedom of choice. As you look backward and take stock, you have come out stronger and more emotionally resilient. You know more about yourself. You have worked through many feelings and experiences. You are free to choose to remain single or try another relationship!

A special word about children. Children of divorce go through the same process described in this article and need to rebuild too. As they follow your example, they will adjust more quickly as a result and grow emotionally resilient. Also, research points to single parents becoming more responsive to the needs of their children, because of what they have learned during separation and divorce.

Too Good to Leave, yet Too Bad to Stay?

The questions to ask yourself if you think it is time to call it quits….

There are signs that not all is right in your relationship, including early warnings signals that you brushed off and ignored months or years ago.  You may feel that although you are dissatisfied, so much is tied socially, economically, and emotionally with your partner, that it may be worth attempting to patch things up, and renew your commitment.  The decision to leave, however, is difficult and different.

The following will help you clarify your mind about your current situation.

  • Did your initial meeting result in positive impression? (a client* stated that her  feeling when first meeting her now ex-mate was of intense dislike,  yet the person had been described in such glowing terms that she was eager to find the ‘good’ in him and was flattered when he showed interest in her)
  • Did you feel reluctant to commit, yet you agreed to date, were engaged with your mate for, at the time, valid reasons despite hesitations?
  • Did you engage in out of ordinary  behaviors, such as crying, feeling apprehension that was not the excitement of meeting him/her, suffering from ailments or depressed moods, or feeling unease as your relationship progressed?

This will give you a clue, as your intuition or guts feelings spoke, whether you and your partner were a match.  Listen to your body as you interact with a person or think bout them.

Jody* recollects that on her wedding day, her fiancé John was behaving oddly and was in a sullen and quiet, even sad mood.  He had behaved that way in the few days leading to the ceremony.  She barely noticed at the time, and attributed his reactions to the stress of the wedding.  Weeks later, he left her abruptly, after telling her that he had had doubts from the time of their engagement and had not wanted to go through with the wedding, because he had realized, that he “didn’t love her.”  Jody was devastated and, in retrospect, wished she had spoken with John before the wedding.

Some things we do not recognize until the relationship is well established.  Maybe your courtship was flamboyant and a roller coaster of exciting emotions, with dreams and great expectations.  Your mate looked ideal though, as some aspects of their personality shone through, you felt somewhat uneasy but said to yourself “we’ll address that in time” or “I can accept this.”

Mary * recalls how in the first 9 weeks of meeting Brad,  he blew up in two huge temper tantrums as she unwittingly made remarks upsetting to him.  She noticed the anger and the following silent treatment, and decided at the time she could handle it, as she was able to reason him through the blow up.  She was unsettled, but confident that the matter could be solved if she would tell him how upsetting his behavior was to her.  Soon, however,   she started avoiding discussing topics that would ‘set him off’ no matter how important the matter was  to her.  She built up resentment over time as she felt she had to put up with anger out of proportion, while being ‘punished’ by him with his silences, if she, in turn, was to express angry feelings.  Meanwhile Brad’s rages became cyclical and habitual over their 10-year marriage, and grew in intensity.  Mary left Brad after one of his tempers resulted in her being physically injured.

A honeymoon period lasts generally between three months and a year after meeting your mate.  Then reality settles in, as partners get back into their old habits, the ones that were habitual to them prior to your encounter and courtship.  Later on, a point balance is reached, where one learns to live with their partner’s behavior… or does not.

When you reach that stage, it is normal to ask yourself  “should I stay in the relationship?”  As you explore the reasons for asking yourself this question in the first place you may then consider the material and emotional implications of leaving or staying.  It might be a good idea to grab a notepad, and list the benefits and consequences of staying or leaving.  This may cover: reasons for unease, whether recoverable or not, characteristics of your mate, areas of discomfort, upsetting and satisfying personality traits, etc, down to material aspects such as the cost of living alone,  division of assets, burden of rebuilding a new life,  living and coping as single parent, etc.

This sounds rather clinical; yet taking stock may also help you realize how much you value your partner!

These are questions to ask yourself as you contemplate what to do.


1. “Have I ever been happy in this relationship?”

If the answer is a definite “No,” or if the answer turns to “No” right from after a ‘honeymoon period’ of romantic love and chemical highs, then, it cannot be fixed, as it never worked in the first place.  If the answer is “Yes, sometimes,” or “Yes, mostly”, you may want to explore the current source of your disappointment, and decide whether to work on the relationship or not.

2. “It felt right when we met, now it doesn’t.  Is it reason to leave?”

Life is dynamic.  Your partner may experience issues.  Your life situations have evolved or changed.  Explore your answers to the next questions to help you determine whether you are holding on to a sinking ship or are too ready to jump ship when repairs are possible.

3. “Is s/he as willing as I am to initiate some changes in this relationship and work with me at solving some of our issues?” and “I bring the same issue time and time again, but s/he does not appear to take it seriously.”

If your partner is not willing to work at your relationship, it will not work.

4. “Am I invested in making this relationship work?”  “Are we communicating on day to day issues?”, “Are my needs met, as I fulfill his/her needs?”

If answers are “No”, the relationship is already over.  Having a partner who does not communicate their needs, or expects you to guess them, being unable to communicate your need, or not getting what you need,  means the relationship is dead.  Why prolong it?

5. “Am I ready to leave this relationship?”

Sometimes we are, so the outcome is easy.  Sometimes we need to look at things from all angles, and the process can take weeks if not months.  That’s ok.  One day, all things considered, the decision will tilt to be a definite yes or no.  Be gentle.  Talking to trusted others or to professionals might help you develop clarity.

6. “Does my partner want out but fails to communicate this clearly to me?”

This is a blessing: if you consider leaving, the job is half done.  No uncommitted person can become a loving reliable partner.

7. “Should I stay because of the kids?”

The answer is a definite “NO”.  Studies show that children are very distressed in a bad relationship, possibly more so than children of divorced parents.  This depends naturally on how difficult or dysfunctional your relationship is.

8. “My partner behaved badly.”  “Did s/he commit to end the offending behavior and admit to it, or instead justify their actions and criticize and blame me for it?”  “Does s/he make efforts to heal the pain, or is s/he not showing honesty nor empathy, and does not attempt to engage in a mutual recovery process?”

If answers are “No”, and your partner comes up with statements such as “you made me do it,” to justify their behavior, seriously consider leaving.  If s/he does not come clean, or at least attempt to do something about the situation, things will get worse.

9.”My partner behaved so badly, could anyone in my position forgive him/her?”

If the answer is “No”, it is unlikely you would be able to forgive if any one else could not.  You are only human.  Examples of deep betrayal may be:  partner maintains a secret family; engages in sexual activities that put you at risk; engages in illicit activities that may be dangerous to you and family; s/he injures you, threatens you, or blackmails you.

10. “Do I still respect my partner?”  “Does s/he respect me?”

If the answer is “No”, s/he simply cannot be a partner.  If you feel dismissed, rejected or condescended to, this is toxic, as all discussions are either attacking or defending.

11. “Is s/he unfaithful and blames it on me?”

If s/he justifies their philandering for your being “too jealous” (etc.), this is not acceptable.

12.  “Is s/he physically or emotionally or mentally abusive?”

Get out quickly.  If your dependence is so great that you feel you cannot, build yourself up with professional help.  Take time to plan what you need to do.  Patterns of abuse are learned in both family of origin and environment, and they reflect your partner’s set of beliefs and values.  These are difficult to change.  If your partner is committed to change a behavior that is acceptable to them but is unacceptable to you, then you may be able to get back together.  Meanwhile walk out and separate until their own repair work is well under way.

13. “As well as engaging in various forms of abuse, is s/he personality disordered?”

Things may definitely get worse and escalate eventually to become physical abuse.  Things may not get better.  Cut loose as soon as you feel ready to do so, if you feel that your partner is not willing to seek help.

Whether you decide in the end to stay or to leave, expect … many difficult moments!

If you opt to stay, healing a relationship and changing relational patterns are a slow and uncertain process.  It involves trials and errors, and a lot of commitment, from both parties, to change.  It is possible though, and chances are that you and partner will end up fully and strongly committed to each other.  To achieve this, you need confront several issues, such as trust, blame, reliability, depth of commitment, your role in allowing or accepting the evolution of the current situation, and many more.  Though arduous, it can be a journey full of discovery and growth in companionship with mutual respect and trust.

If you opt to leave, things may immediately get better for a while, as you first experience relief from daily vexations.  Then, you will have to deal with the emotional, social, and economic consequences of separation, together with learning to live as a single person again.  There are complications.  Our love may become an adversary; legalities may be involved; you may need to wean yourself from the addiction of drama, the need for a close and comforting, habitual physical presence, the loss of friends who feel they must side against you, the end of a way of life; and facing the unknown, wondering if there will be another relationship, and support along the way, wondering about your ability to make it on your own.

What to do?  Stay or leave?  Both paths are difficult.  The consolation is: time is a great leveler.  Nothing is forever.  As the pain of working out issues in staying or leaving is felt, know that it will pass, and that, in that process, you will learn and grow, and become more aware of what works or does not work for you.  If you do the work, you might go back to your now ex-partner and re-grow the relationship on stronger footings, or simply move on and be more knowledgeable about the characteristics you desire in a future partner.

* Names are fictitious, and stories are a composite of various discussions and reflections with clients and other persons.

On forgiveness and moving on…

We have an innate sense of justice. When  wronged by others, and the injustice is  severe,  we feel pain from bitterness, resentment, a lot of anger, even hate.

This can wreck our lives:  when treated badly by one person, we may  start resenting all people. And as for revenge: do unto others what is worthy of you — not what if worthy of them. Regardless of what they do, treat them in accordance with your own values, lest you might find it impossible to reconcile your  actions to your values, too much of an extra burden!
Forgiveness is the way out of the pain of bitterness, is it is NOT  condoning, nor excusing the harm that was done. We don’t have to tolerate what was done. At first, there’s shock, and horror, registering what was inflicted upon us. But, this only need be done…. for a while, only.

Their own action, ultimately, is what defines them… while, as you go back to calm, think about how much space is freed in your mind, to get on with your own life.

Forgiveness starts when we can think about the person and event, and how they hurt you, and wish them well.. .

…. and the wisest thing to do, is to never leave yourself open to any more  hurt by them.

A Simple Exercise in Reconnecting with Your Self

“An essential skill when time is scarce and tension is high, because a busy head cannot calm a busy mind.”

Do you feel highly stressed, with your mind overactive, parts of your body tense, and your thoughts spinning out of control?

  • Do you have a feeling of dissatisfaction or pain that you can’t quite pinpoint?
  • Do you encounter situations in your daily life that cause you stress, fatigue, anger, pain or irritation?
  • Worse, do you carry unresolved suffering from past emotional trauma, and can’t rid yourself of the accompanying numbness and tension?
  • Do you feel that your effectiveness goes as you find that your body can’t relax and intrusive thoughts won’t go away?
  • Is your energy sapped, but when you try the recommended remedies –– such as grounding and relaxing, starting an exercise routine, changing your diet, balancing your lifestyle, reading a self-help book, turning to friends, taking a weekend away­­ –– somehow you don’t have enough time or see the results quickly enough, with the result that you don’t stick to the routine, practice the exercises, of follow these regimens?

If you say yes to any or all of these questions, please try an exercise in Mindfulness and Awareness to reprogram your mind to emotional calmness and resilience.  The exercise doesn’t require you to run to the gym, become a meditation participant in a sangha, read books, take a holiday, or invest in anything but yourself, and it can be applied for a few minutes, anytime, anywhere.

Mindfulness is being used more and more in various health fields, both physical and psychological.  Research in Western countries now demonstrates that some simple and quick techniques that have been taught in various Far East countries for hundreds of years are extremely effective in giving your body and mind a rest.  These principles are now applied in Positive Psychology, motivation training, stress, burn-out and anxiety programmes, and many other areas of physical and mental health, such as cancer patient units and centres specialising in trauma recovery, e.g., army veteran centres.  And the same exercises are effective when applied to daily stress, tension, or emotional upsets.

Mindfulness consists of allowing troublesome thoughts and sensations to come and go.  It is the opposite of the traditional ineffective advice to “move on”, “just don’t think about it”, “let it go”,  “box it”, “keep a stiff upper lip”, and so on.  Instead, mindfulness involves simply relegating these thoughts to the background and observing them as they come and go.

To do this, you need to use the power of your senses to relax the mental and physical tension you feel because of difficult situations and bring your mind and body back to optimum and natural functioning!

“When in frustration, go back to your senses.”

Try this:

  1. Think of a frustrating thought (e.g., a stressful morning meeting, traffic jam on the road and missed appointment, issues with a partner, etc.)
  2. Feel how your body reacts and tenses up as you bring the thought to the fore.  Bodily sensations always associate with a thought about an event.
  3. Now immediately rub your fingers together or against your desk or your clothing – touch something.
  4. Don’t consciously fight to try to make the frustrating thought disappear from your mind — just bring your mind to the sense of touch.
  5. Notice how the thought and tension are somewhat minimised.
  6. Do this again and again throughout the day.

Repeat this practice over a few days and then broaden it to include another of the senses.  For example, follow touch by bringing in your sense of hearing:

  • Consciously bring your mind to become aware of background noises, such as the hum of the aircon, or of your computer, multiple faint sources of noise, e.g., conversations in the street, birds chirping, the sound of your fingers tapping on the computer, etc.  Background noises are not those of the TV, but subtle sounds and hums around you.
  • Let the noises in the background come to fill the foreground of your mind.  As you do this, you may notice how your current thoughts are still present, but minimised in your mind.

Then, do the same again, this time with your vision:

  • Notice what is around you, especially the texture of the objects you see, whatever those objects are, beautiful flower or trash on the street.

And do the same again with your sense of taste and smell.

  • Notice the taste inside your mouth, or the texture of the gum you chew, or the food you eat.  Concentrate on the smells around you, whether pleasant or not.

This may take a few minutes, or maybe just seconds.  The trick is to remember to do it.  Like any muscles, the more you practice being aware of your senses, the stronger and more effective this Mindfulness technique becomes.

Underlying this exercise is a fundamental principle: when our minds are overactive, our bodies tense up, and our senses close down.  Our senses are our connection to reality.  Reality lies outside of us, externally, not within our internal thought processes.  Deliberate moments of (re)connection to our external physical environment by bringing our sensory modes to the forefront of our attention appeases the mind, and hence appeases our body responses.

If your mode of taking in sensory inputs is mainly visual, try doing the exercise above with your other, less utilised senses: touch, hearing and taste or smell.  Do this each time you face a problematic thought or feeling.  Allow the thought or feeling to coexist with all of the background sensory inputs your mind is now absorbing.  The relief or melting away of thought and tension may be nearly immediate or may be a slower process, depending on the intensity of the problem and associated mental or body sensations and also how much experience you have using this exercise.

If you are interested in knowing more about this method and various exercises you can apply to calm your thoughts and tension, why not sign up for either an individual session or a workshop? Contact us for details.