I enjoy exploring the amplify / release technique.
Notice a body contraction, or an uncomfortable experience of any type. (Discomfort, restlessness, cravings, fear, anger, sadness, physical or emotional pain, a body contraction.)
Amplify it. Make it stronger. Do this for about 10 seconds. (Intend to make it stronger, whether you are able to actually make it stronger or not.)
Release. Relax. Take a full breath. Maybe hum a tune. Do this for 10 seconds.
Repeat a few times. Notice what, if anything, happens.
Several things happen here.
We bring attention to the discomfort. This brings it out of the habitual (and often stressful) thoughts reacting to or fueling it.
We get to notice how we intentionally make it stronger. We may bring up or strengthen certain images or words, we may contract the muscles in the area of the sensations or body contraction.
We get to see the imaginations and sensations making up the discomfort is perhaps not as scary as it initially seemed. As long as we avoid it, we reinforce the idea that it’s scary, and the experience of it as scary. When we meet it, we get to see more closely what’s really there (imaginations and sensations), and that it’s not as scary as it initially seemed.
Each of these helps us shift our relationship to it and befriend it more genuinely. It may also help the charged combination of imaginations and sensations soften its charge.
This, in turn, makes it easier to continue to rest with it and explore the different elements making it up.
- when resist, give it energy, keeps it in place
- seems scary, reinforce the idea it’s scary, reinforce the experience of it as scary
- amplify, do the opposite so it’s allowed to go
- see it’s not so scary
Several things happen here, including bringing attention to the discomfort, and noticing how we intentionally make it stronger. (We may bring up or strengthen certain images or words, we may contract the muscles in the area of the sensations or body contraction.)
What we resist persist, and making it stronger is meeting it in a more wholehearted way than we typically do.