Here is a simple technique to explore any uncomfortable or stressful experience:
Amplify it. Make it stronger.
Then release. Relax. Take a breath.
Do each for about 10 seconds. Repeat if needed.
There are several things happening here.
I get to see how I would amplify a stressful or uncomfortable experience. I may tense up certain muscles. Hold my breath. Strengthen an image, or bring additional (stressful) images to mind. I may strengthen words, or bring in additional stressful words. I may remember one or more specific instances from the past. I may look at a scenario about the future. I may see a picture of myself being a certain way.
I face what I fear. I face the scary images, words and sensations. I meet them. Go into them. Make them even stronger. Through facing them, and seeing that nothing really bad happened, they seem less scary.
I get to see that my past habit was to (sometimes) avoid painful or scary images, words, and sensations. And now I get to turn around and do the exact opposite, and it’s OK. Maybe I don’t need to avoid, get rid of, or run away from uncomfortable images, words, and sensations. Maybe there is another way.
My mind gets to experience – at a more visceral level – that nothing really bad happened even if I met and made these scary things stronger. It was OK.
The mind gets to see that these scary things are mind made. They are images, words, and sensations, and they can be made stronger, and then released, and then brought back.
There may also be an element of sense of control here. When I amplify scary images, words, and sensations, there is a sense of control. (However slight.)
What’s the effect of doing this?
For me, it makes the images, words, and sensations less scary.
It makes it easier for me to meet them, to look at the images and words, and feel the sensations.
Sometimes, almost as a side effect, the intensity of the experience is reduced. It lessens.
This is similar to the pointers of meeting my experience, welcoming it, even finding love for it. It’s just a different and more enhanced way.
Thanks to Joey Lott for sharing this technique in some of his (excellent) books.