How to Use Mindfulness to Help with Negative Emotions

Article by Mita Mistry 30.05.16

Life can be a rollercoaster of emotions, it’s not anyone’s fault it’s just the way life is. There are often moments that are overwhelming and difficult to endure which can feel scary. Sometimes, negative emotions surface out of the blue for no obvious reason leaving us feeling angry, anxious, stressed out, sad or even embarrassed.

When a negative emotion rears its head, its very normal to avoid facing it by distracting ourselves with activities like food or drink or something stronger.

Sadly life is such that we all face hardship but the intensity of emotional pain for each one of us can vary from small setbacks like feeling excluded, to intense grief of a significant loss.

The problem is, the more we try to avoid emotional pain the more likely we are to experience it because we are unable to develop the skills needed to cope. By not accepting suffering we give negative emotions permission to control us because no matter how hard we try to escape them, emotions have a way of reappearing possibly in the form of panic attacks, depression or by engaging in unhealthy behaviours like substance abuse, eating disorders, pathological gambling, internet addiction, excessive worry or over-exercising to name a few.

Mindfulness can be your greatest teacher to help you face suffering and accept it as part of the human experience. It gives you the opportunity to step back and understand that emotions are temporary. The more you face up to uncomfortable feelings, the less intense the emotional experience. In the long run you learn to cope with experiencing pain while it also massively enhances happier moments, a paradox we must all understand.

RAIN – 4 Steps to Manage Negative Emotions

Here is a very well known mindfulness practice called RAIN (an acronym for the four steps of the process), it can be used in any situation or place. It directs your attention in a clear, systematic way that cuts through confusion and stress.

R – Recognise

You can do this by simply asking yourself: “What is happening inside me right now?” Keep an open kind mind and listen to what you are feeling. Name the emotion if you can.

A – Accept.  

Allow the thoughts, emotions, feelings or sensations that may feel unpleasant to just be. This emotion is present in the here and now at this very moment. Just “Let it be”. 

I – Investigate.

Pause and simply ask yourself

“Where am I feeling this emotion in my body?”

“What thoughts am I thinking? “

“What experience led to this feeling?”

“What does this feeling want from me?”

N – Non-identification. 

This means maintaining a sense of who you are by simply observing the emotions. Emotions are temporary feelings that will pass, watching them come and go like thoughts can help you regain control. Imagine you are like a mountain, in the midst of a storm it remains still. Similarly during a difficult time, know that the feelings will pass and there is always a part of you that remains still and untouched by it. Have the attitude “sadness is weighing me down at the moment but it will soon melt away”. “Anger is rising up in me like a furnace but at some point it will start to settle and cool down.” Non -identification is a powerful step that disentangles you from the negative emotions replacing it with inner peace and awareness.

R.A.I.N. and related practices of spacious awareness are fundamental to mental health, and always worth doing in their own right. Sometimes you may find that one step is enough to help you manage the negative emotions but you may need to go through all four steps of the process which is recommended during challenging times.



t: @MitaMistry


Are you being Sun Safe??

Article by Helen Chidgey 25.05.16

We all know the links between sun exposure and the incidence of skin cancers so most of us have a bottle of suntan cream to hand but are we really sure of how to apply it properly and how to stay Sun Safe??

Eight out of ten people are failing to adequately apply sunscreen before going out in the sun, according to a survey carried out by the British Association of Dermatologists to mark Sun Awareness Week (9th-15th May 2016).

The survey also found that 70 per cent of people fail to reapply sunscreen every two hours as recommended.

No surprise then that 72% of people admit to having been sunburnt in the last year.  A troubling statistic given the risk of developing melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – more than doubles in people with a history of sunburn compared with people who have never been sunburned.

So what do I recommend to stay Sun Safe? Here are my 5 top tips!


UVA/UVB rays can still reach your skin and cause damage, even when it’s cloudy or when you’re in the shade. So when you’re sipping cocktails under cover at the beach remember to apply your Sun Screen to help prevent a surprise sunburn, OUCH!


Make sure you apply your sunscreen half an hour before you go out and just before exposure too.  Pay extra attention to the areas most likely to catch the sun and the ones not exposed very often!


You know those sunscreens you have hiding in the back of your cupboard past their expiry date? Don’t worry, we all have them but it’s about time we threw them all away! That’s because you can’t rely on the SPF protection of products past their expiration date!


Keep your sunscreen topped up by reapplying at least every 2 hours, to provide maximum coverage (but I’d recommend even more often, depending on your skin type). Always reapply after being in water, even with water resistant creams you will have lost some protection during your little paddle!


Body Sunscreen can be applied from head to toe, but if you’ve got a sunny date you want to look your best for, using makeup that includes a high SPF is an easy way to keep your skin protected and you looking gorgeous!


FB: Tropic Skincare Stratford with Helen

Twitter: @tropicstratford