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April 01, 2021


2 Things You Need To Know To Elevate Your Mood

Want to elevate your mood? Read on to learn how with two simple concepts.  

Rain

The concept of RAIN was started by Tara Brach, an American who has a double major in Psychology and Political Science as well as a PHD in Clinical Psychology. Tara also completed a five-year training course in Buddhism. The RAIN acronym tries to bring mindful self-compassion to times when you might be under some emotional difficulty or distress.  

So, what exactly does each letter in RAIN stand for?

  • Recognize
  • Allowing or Accepting
  • Investigating
  • Nurturing

Four great concepts that when applied together can help you to make yourself aware of your feelings at any one time.

Recognizing
Consciously acknowledging your thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and things that are affecting you. This can be done by a whisper or just a quick mental note of what you are feeling at any one time. So, it might be that you are sad that your football team lost or that you are craving a sweet snack or that you're a bit disappointed with something that happened at work.

Allowing or Accepting
Letting those thoughts or emotions that you felt just simply be there. They are not right or wrong. It is important to address that to yourself. That it is okay that those thoughts popped up into your head. Accepting those thoughts is important and a great way to apply an element of self-care to any thoughts or feelings that you may have.  

Investigating
We are investigating why those thoughts or feelings crept in the way they did. Being curious about your thoughts, can help to give you a slightly deeper understanding as to why those thoughts or feelings came in.

Nurture
The concept of self-compassion comes in again. Naturally, these thoughts that we are thinking are not necessarily always going to be nice thoughts, but it is important that we are really kind to ourselves in these situations rather than beating ourselves up about it.  

Recognizing what we're feeling, accepting that those thoughts are okay. Investigating why those thoughts and emotions are present and then nurturing ourselves, so that we can respond in the way that we want to next time. Some people have RAIN written on their phone; some people write it on their hand throughout the day. RAIN is a great way to check in with yourself and ensure that you are being kind to yourself.  


Gem

You may have heard of the Resilience Project, a project that tries to apply this concept worldwide. Their mission is to teach positive mental health strategies to help individuals to feel happier.

GEM stemmed from the founder of the Resilience Project, Hugh Van Keilenberg. He was spending time in the North of India back in 2008. He was volunteering as a teacher and was living in a remote community. During his stay he did not have access to electricity, running water and he would sleep on the floor. Food was few and far between, yet everyone that was there was so happy. Hugh had one student who came into the school he was working at, he looked down at this students’ shoes. The student had these grubby shoes on, that had holes in them. It looked like a dog had been chewing them. However, this student was so excited that he just had a pair of shoes on, that he did not mind what they looked like. This is where the GEM concept stemmed from.

So, what exactly does each letter in GEM stand for?

  • Gratitude
  • Empathy
  • Mindfulness

Gratitude:
There is a lot of research that suggests that if you rewire your brain to start scanning for the positives in the world and not always dwell on the negatives, you become three times more likely to notice positive things. If we are noticing positives in the world, then naturally we are going to be happier overall. A really easy way to practice gratitude is, throughout the day simply write down something you are grateful for. Gratitude is similar to that of strength training. Over time as we train, we get stronger. Practicing gratitude overtime can help us become more positive overall, which in turn is going to help to elevate our mental health.

Empathy:
It is established that every time we do something kind for someone else, our brain releases a neurotransmitter called Oxytocin. This leads to increased confidence, self-esteem, increased happiness, reduced fatigue, and increased energy levels. Naturally these are going to closely coincide with an increased mental well-being and overall better quality of life.

Mindfulness:
Naturally the concept of mindfulness or meditation is a bit of a buzzword around mental health. Meditation is a powerful tool. It can reduce depression, anxiety, improve decision making, improve your ability to focus, reduce our likelihood of binging (alcohol or food like sugars) which can relieve stress, blood pressure, improve pain and improve sleep. There is a lot of key benefits of meditation and mindfulness, but it is something that can be quite difficult to implement. For those that are trying to increase meditation or mindfulness into their days, start small. Maybe do 30 seconds of meditation, focus on taking five deep breaths in a row, write something down or complete a guided meditation. There is a lot of different ways you can implement mindfulness and meditation into your day to help you to elevate your mood.

The RAIN and GEM principles are quick and easy self-checks tools, that you can implement into your day right now to help you to elevate your mood.   


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