The aim of this exercise is to build tolerance to strong, uncomfortable emotions and the physical sensations linked to them. Most of us tend to struggle against strong emotions when they arise. We get stressed about feeling anxious or depressed about feeling depressed. We rally against our emotions. The trouble is that telling ourselves not to feel a particular emotion usually doesn’t work very well, sometimes it actually just makes the emotion feel stronger.

With practice, this exercise will help you to find a way to let go of struggling against particular emotions. This doesn’t mean that at the end of the exercise you will feel like you approve of or want to feel uncomfortable emotions, you will just be making room for them and struggling against them less. Just letting them be as they are without trying to change them in any way. In mindfulness, this is what we call acceptance. When you are able to tolerate and accept difficult emotions you have more energy to focus on effective strategies that actually help you to manage emotions.