- Close your eyes, and find something in your experience that you find unpleasant. Or, if there’s an issue in your life, bring it to mind.
- Pay attention to the sensations in your body. When you look at this experience, or when you bring it to mind, what do you notice in your body?
- Particularly, what emotions do you notice? Note, this can include emotions for which you don’t have words. You can notice the process of giving words to an emotion, e.g. how we add words after the fact.
- Now ask yourself, is this emotion pleasant or unpleasant?
- Now, ask yourself, what is more unpleasant - these emotions, or the experience of thinking about the experience?
Commentary: Typically, the experience of thinking about a difficulty is more unpleasant than the emotions associated with the difficulty. This exercise is designed to help people realise that staying with emotional experience is less unpleasant that the runaway thoughts. They may go further to realise that though still unpleasant, in some strange way, staying with the emotions can actually be satisfying.