Feelings like sadness, anger, and anxiety can be very strong and intense and sometimes feel like they could last forever. But everything in life is always changing, including feelings. When you notice a feeling, see if you can track it – observe it moment to moment. What is happening? Imagine yourself as a scientist exploring a rare species in the Jungle. What is the nature of this animal? Can you name any of the sensations that make up the feeling? If it had a colour what would it be? If it could speak what would it say? If it were music what song would it sing? If it were a story what story would it be?

We can imagine feelings as being like a river, always flowing past. Or like a wave that rises up, peaks, then falls away again. Can you notice the moment of rising, peaking and falling away? Our feelings are always trying to communicate something to us. We can dialogue with our feelings to find out what they need.

First ask it to step back and give you some space. Imagine it as an image moving off into the distance or as an object in the world around you. Reassure it that you will remain connected with it but that you need it to separate from you so you can help it. Keep asking it kindly to step back.

Then activate your strong, wise, compassionate self. You can do this by remembering a time you were very protective of someone else. Or a time you felt caring. Or a time you overcame a great challenge. You might try to embody this mind state. Assume the posture of strength and warm-heartedness. Use your body and your face to embody this state. This might take practice but keep trying.

Doing this, resources us so we feel stronger in relating to the troubling feeling. Then you can ask the feeling what it needs. How can I help you? What would make you feel better? What would you like me to know? How can I soothe and comfort you? Even asking these questions is likely to bring some ease and softening to the feeling.