From Julie Potiker, author and mindfulness expert. Used with permission.
Observe yourself without judgment: When you feel the intensity of a particularly challenging emotion welling up inside of you, see if you can call it out for what it is: “Oh, that’s anger. Oh, that’s worry.” Feel it with curiosity, not judging it but simply aware of it. This is the heart of mindfulness.
Comfort yourself with soothing touch: Put a hand over your heart. Wrap your arms around yourself. Give yourself a gentle touch on the cheek or shoulder or your belly. Wherever touch feels most soothing and comforting to you, give that to yourself. This gentle touch activates your body’s mammalian caregiver response and releases oxytocin and opiates in your brain to counteract cortisol, the stress hormone.
Tell yourself what you most need to hear: What do you wish someone would say to you right now? What words would be most comforting or soothing to hear? Whatever you most need to hear right now, create a phrase and repeat it as a mantra to yourself. Try:
a. I am loved and appreciated.
b. I am safe.
c. I am valued.
d. I am strong and capable.
e. I accept myself just as I am.