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Hi, I’m Rebecca Fry and I’m a Licensed Professional Counselor at Thriveworks in Alexandria. I was just popping on today to answer a few questions about the benefits of mindfulness.

My clients are often asking me how mindfulness can be a pathway through for them during this COVID-19 scare. And so what I’d like to do is just tell you a little bit about the benefits of mindfulness and how you can begin feeling a little bit more connected to your emotional state and show yourself a little bit more compassion. So bear with me as I discuss a little bit about what those benefits could be.

What mindfulness offers is a pathway through difficult emotions. By tuning into what we’re actually thinking, feeling, and how we’re actually behaving, we do develop an awareness that teaches us that emotional states come and go and that we don’t have to linger there, that we can feel the full width and breadth and height of our emotion and then let it pass without judgment. That we can be kind to ourselves and to others who are experiencing difficult emotional states.

That not one emotional state is better than the other, that there’s not a category or a ranking of feelings, but that all feelings are important cues that tell us what’s going on. And so by tuning into our emotional state, we’re allowing ourselves, giving ourselves the freedom to experience our humanity and also to feel more connected to those around us.

So often, people tell me that it’s so difficult for them to sit with negative, what they see as negative emotion. And so what I encourage them to do is to remember that their emotions are like waves at the beach. They’re going to come, they’re going to intensify, they’re going to crest, and then they’re going to crash and recede. And so mindfulness gives us an opportunity to observe those waves coming and going and crashing so that they don’t become overwhelming.

And so that we are able to experience them without fear, without apprehension, without distress, that we can tolerate those emotions and that we can come through them. They are our way of knowing and seeing and experiencing our world. And so what I would encourage you to do is to develop a mindfulness practice that’s based on these concepts of non-judgment and self-compassion that you are able to do this and that you will get through this pandemic just as well as anyone else will, because you can be in charge and in control of paying attention to your emotional queuing it.

This will allow you to have more compassion for yourself as well as others. Maybe you’re wrestling with a spouse, maybe you’re having difficulty with a partner. Maybe your kids are bringing you to the point of insanity. Whatever it is that you’re wrestling with, know that you’re not alone and that tuning into your feeling state will help you to move through it and will empower you to be a better version of yourself.

And so I encourage you to develop this mindfulness practice. You can do it in a variety of ways. You could go for a nice mindful walk. You could develop a new hobby like knitting or crocheting that uses a repetitive movement. You can utilize yoga, you can utilize stretching, you can lay in place. You can use a traditional meditation app, whatever it is, that that allows you to tap into your current feeling state in your current thought life.

And so I encourage you to do that. And I hope that you have a mindful and restful day today and that you find that sense of self compassion and non-judgment take care.