WELCOME to my MIDL Mindfulness Softening Skill Training Classroom.
Through practicing simple, gentle breathing exercises you can learn the skill of turning off the Anxious Response through Mindful non-participation – ‘Softening Into’. Turning off the Anxious Response in this way means that you can be with any Unpleasant Emotional Responses in your life without reacting therefore Deconditioning the Habitual Patterns of reaction.
The practice of Targeted Deconditioning of Emotional Charge has been put up here to enhance public knowledge of MIDL Softening Into Techniques. If you have had a past trauma that is difficult to experience do not engage in this practice except under trained, professional supervision. Since this practice is concerned with intentionally triggering the emotional response attached to memories you should approach it with due caution and discretion.
Deconditioning Negative Emotional Responses
To Decondition the Anxious Response you need to separate it from the Emotional Response present. The Anxious Response appears as the underlying tension in the upper chest and forehead below the Emotional Overlay.
Addictive or Aversive based emotions are treated in exactly the same way. This is because the root driving factor, the Anxious Response, is the same. It is not necessary to pay any attention to past causal factors or to what has triggered the Anxious Response and the Associated Emotional Reaction.
Using Mindful, slow diaphragm breathing and the skill of ‘Softening Into’ you can experience ‘unpleasantness’ without Mental Aversion. By experiencing the ‘unpleasant feeling tone’ present, without reacting by “seeking pleasantness” or “pushing it away”, the Perceptional Judgement of ‘danger’ Deconditions.
Exercise 8: Softening Into the Emotional response
1) Bring to mind your painful memory, first starting with a memory or thought that that has mild emotional charge attached to it so that you can learn the skill of Softening Into to Decondition Charge. Be aware of the ‘Elemental Qualities’ of the ‘Emotional Response’ that arises within your body due to holding the memory. Know that it cannot hurt you but rather is your mind telling you that the memory is dangerous. Separate the emotion particularly around the chest / abdomen into its elements such as ‘tight’, ‘tense’, ‘heavy’, ‘light’, ‘cool’, ‘warm’, ‘clammy’.
2) Notice the Anxious Response appearing beneath the emotion as ‘resistance’ to what you are experiencing. It will appear as ‘tightness / tension’ in your upper chest and forehead. Notice it is ‘unpleasant’. Separate the experience of ‘unpleasantnesses’ from the ‘tightness / tension’. Do this in the same way you might separate the flavour of a banana from its texture.
3) Using slow, gentle breaths, 'Soften Into' the 'pull' to move away from the 'unpleasantness' of the experience, Soften so deeply that your mind understands that this experience is safe. Check the strength of the emotion and the unpleasant feeling, if it becomes stronger then you need to refine your Softening skills. A sign that the Softening is good is an effort to open your eyes and a decrease in the strength of the emotional response and a decrease in the strength of the unpleasantness of it. Keep repeating until the charge is fully removed, generally three to six Softens.
Never Soften to try to remove or get rid of something - only Soften to deeply accept what is being experienced - this is the path.
I can teach you simple, easy to learn Mindfulness techniques to help you to manage and experience freedom from anxiety / stress within your life