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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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Melli O'Brien



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How to Meet Fear With Love

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness.

Today.,We're going to talk about

how to use love and compassion

to soothe anxiety and stress and

bring ease and calm to our minds.

So a lot of the time when emotions

like anxiety or stress arise,

we respond by trying to push

them away or fight with them.

That tends to intensify the difficult

feelings, rev our nervous system up and

pull us into reactivity and struggle.

But what would happen instead of fearing

the anxiety, fighting with the anxiety,

if we met it with kindness and compassion?

Although it might sound a little bit

counter-intuitive to bring love to your

anxiety, it's actually a really powerful

way to regulate your emotions, soothe

your nervous system and find in a calm.

So according to Professor Paul

Gilbert, we have three types of

emotional regulation systems.

So we've got the threat system, the

drive system and the soothing system.

The threat system focuses

on self protection.

So that's our fight or flight response.

The drive system is reward focused.

It's involved in wanting,

striving, achieving, and consuming.

And the soothing system focuses

on bonding and connection.

It involves kindness, caring, and play.

In the soothing system, we feel more safe.

We feel more relaxed.

We feel content and we feel connected.

Now when we're experiencing a lot of

stress and anxiety, we often get stuck

with our threat system, turned on.

Basically we get stuck in a fear response.

And if we're responding to that fear,

that anxiety, that stress by fighting it

or denying it, the emotions, as I said,

become more intense, they get prolonged.

But if we can bring compassion and

kindness to what we're feeling,

we switch on that soothing system.

And we start to surround our anxiety

in soothing softness and kindness.

When we switch on this soothing

system, our brain releases oxytocin.

We get this squirt of soothing and

feel good hormones into our bodies.

And oxytocin is often called the cuddle

hormone because it makes us feel a sense

of love, of relaxation, of wellbeing.

So by practicing self compassion

and kindness in these moments, what

happens really is we stop ourselves

from getting caught in a vicious cycle.

We stop throwing fuel on the fire

of difficult emotions so they can

just pass through us more easily.

We also soothe our nervous system

and bring kindness and presence to

ourselves when we need it the most.

So in today's meditation, we'll

practice this skill a little bit more.

Bringing loving kindness to our feelings,

to ourselves and to whatever arises.

So I invite you to settle in for that now.

And of course, as always,

thank you for your practice

and your presence here with us.

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