Mindfulness: Skills to Overcome Challenging Moments

What is challenging for you right now?

People all over the country and the world are having difficult conversations, learning, and experiencing new and heightened emotions. This challenges our coping skills and can be overwhelming, leading us to shut down, explode, or not take care of ourselves. To foster your resilience, take a look at some skills from Operation Health @ Home posts, organized below by where you may be having difficulty.

Let’s start with compassion for others as well as ourselves. When we don’t practice compassion (just like a muscle, it needs to be exercised to strengthen) it can lead to frustration, anger, disconnection from others, and difficulty managing emotions. It may be hard to get motivated to have compassion or empathy for others but think about the times when you did have empathy for someone, and how much that reduced your level of stress.

Check out this post on empathy: Mindfulness: Practicing Empathy for Better Conversations and notice when you’re having judgments toward yourself and others: Mental Health: DBT Non-Judgmental Stance

Are your emotions overwhelming?

Identification of emotions, what’s going on? Mindfulness: How to Mindfully Manage Difficult Emotions

If you find yourself reacting without thinking, maybe later regretting how you handled distress, try this STOP Skill: Stop Skill: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Tools

Regulate your emotions with some grounding skills: Mindfulness: Grounding Techniques for Calming Down Quickly

Are you asking yourself about what your values are, maybe confused about how to act in line with them?

This is a good opportunity to check in with your values, possibly readjust them, and use them to guide you as you move forward: Mental Health: Values

Are you having trouble recognizing what you have control over and what you don’t?

Recognizing the time for acceptance or problem solving can be helpful: Mindfulness: The Difference Between Problem Solving and Acceptance

All this work is likely to involve other people. Are you avoiding conversations or maybe having difficult ones?

Look at any unhelpful thoughts you’re having: Mental Health: Patterns of Problematic Thinking

Build some effective listening skills: Mindfulness: Active Listening For Better Conversations

Learn different options for starting conversations: Couple Communication: Soften Your Startup

Throughout it all, we cannot forget to recharge our battery with some self-care!

Try a calming meditation that can increase insight: Mindfulness: 10-Minute Meadow Meditation

Or any one of these self-care strategies. Mental Health: Engaging in Self-Care During Stressful Times

Though none of these skills will solve everything, used together, they can strengthen your relationships with yourself, other people, and improve your resilience.

If you have questions about our mental health and clinical services at Home Base or would like to reconnect with others in healthy, supportive ways, please reach out to us! Visit homebase.org/connect2care or call 617-724-5202 to learn more about how we can support you.

About the Author: Clare Stupinski., LICSW is a clinical social worker at Home Base and has had a long-standing interest in the issues that veterans face. Having varied experience treating a range of mental health issues including PTSD, depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders has prepared her to meet the needs of veterans and their families here at Home Base.