Building Emotional Resilience: A Guided Meditation

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Topics include: Mental and Emotional Well-Being

How can people create positive change in their lives? Join certified yoga therapist Raquel Jex Forsgren during part one of a six-part mind-body series for a guided meditation on building emotional resilience, envisioning personal major milestones and accomplishing important life goals. Raquel leads viewers through relaxing breathing techniques and provides practical first steps for patients and care partners to take to set intentions, visualize and live out their dreams and aspirations.

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Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Raquel Jex Forsgren:

Hi everyone.  My name is Raquel Forsgren, and on behalf of Patient Power we're really excited to kick off a six-month series on building our resilience.  So resilience is a big buzzword right now, especially for those of us in the healthcare community.  What that means is building up the strength that we have in ourselves that's innately already there to be able to bounce back at what life is throwing at us, whether it's the diagnosis, the disease, the side effects or even if you're a care partner or a caregiver like me, how do we handle watching someone we love go through the journey. 

And we all think about various ways that we'd like to control all of that, but at the end of the day all that we can really control is it our own minds, our own emotions and our own vision.  So today that's what we're creating.  We're creating the vision for our lives, and how we do that is by creating milestones. 

So you'll need your paper and your pen or your pencil.  I've already started to craft mine, you can see, and just keep that handy, just on your lap.  And in the meantime, we'll be doing a couple of breathing techniques and a little bit of guided meditation and imagery just to clear our mind from the day so that we can feel creative and open to what we want for our lives.  All right.  So are you with me? 

Everyone close your eyes, sit up nice and tall, and as we always do with any of the sessions with me, go immediately to feeling your feet.  Feel your heels, your toes, bottoms of your feet.  Feel the bottoms of your hands just resting on your thighs.  Relax your shoulders.  Relax your jaws.  And let's take a nice inhale, just a regular inhale, and then exhale just a little bit longer than your inhale.  Let's inhale again, exhale just a little bit longer.  And let's all do it one more time, inhaling and exhaling just a little bit longer. 

Notice how you're breathing right now.  You know that's something we always come back to, just to notice how we're breathing, maybe what we're thinking about, and let it all go right now just to have an open mind.  Bring to mind in this moment someone you love.  Visualize their face.  Visualize their smile.  And if it's not a person it can also be an animal, could be a dog or a cat or a horse.  Any animal.  Just visualize that person or being, whatever that is, how they make you feel when they're around you or you are around them. 

Notice where in your physical body you feel that kind of emotion, whether it's love or gratitude or strength, support, whatever it is.  Take a moment just to send them a little bit of love, whatever being it is. 

Now bring to mind something that excites you, something you'd like to do.  Something within the next month, maybe tomorrow, could be in December of this year, but something you'd like to do.  Try not to let your mind start to wander about why you can't or may not be able to do it.  Just focus your mind on something you'd like to do.  Visualize doing it, accomplishing it.  What would it feel like?  Where do you feel it in your physical body when you visualize yourself doing it?  How does that feel to really accomplish it? 

And take a moment here to think about the overarching vision or feeling you'd like to have in your life.  That could be strength.  It could be a boosted immune system.  It could be just loving, forgiving, accepting, traveling, just an overarching vision that you have for your life right now maybe in the next three months, six months, nine months, maybe a year. 

Now softly blink open your eyes, take your pad and your paper and just jot those down.  I'll kind of look over mine again too while you're doing that.  Take just a few moments just to write them down.  And your pad and your paper doesn't have to be a dissertation.  It can be just simple words.  And once you have that, I'll give you just a few moments.  And after you write that down, close your eyes again. 

Come back to that breath.  Notice how you're breathing once you stirred, once you came out of your breathing and your meditation.  Just notice how your breath feels.  Is it excited feeling?  Is it smooth and long?  Is it short and sticky?  And don't judge it, because it's not right or wrong.  Remember, I always say that to you, just noticing it. 

And let's all take an inhale again and a nice exhale, exhaling a little bit longer.  Do two more just like that.  Inhaling, deepening the breath, exhaling a little bit longer.  And last time inhaling and exhaling a little bit longer.  Now, tuning back into your vision, what you were dreaming about envisioning for your life, the next day, the next month, the next few months or year, whatever that is for you. 

I want you to think of three things.  You could think of more, but let's narrow it to three things top of mind that you would really love to accomplish, do, major milestone.  Just let those images and ideas come to mind.  It could be as simple as being able to make it through all of your treatments for the next four months.  It could be being able to shower without needing help.  It could be taking your loved one that is on a journey, doing something that would just help them feel a little bit better, help them feel a little loved.  Whatever that is.  Find the milestones.  Visualize yourself doing them, really visualize it.  Where would you be?  What would you be doing?  Where would you go?  How would that feel to be able to do those three things? 

All right, everyone, softly blink open your eyes, and let's take our pad and pencil or pen again and just start to jot those milestones down, or goals, whatever you're calling them.  Don't get too caught up in the terminology.  I like milestones, because it feels reachable, obtainable.  I can move them, shift them around, so whatever feels right to you to start to write them down.  Give you just a few moments. 

And then let's all just take a moment and look over what you have, and I can share with you what I have.  If you're stuck at all, which I do find sometimes when I work with patients or even myself, sometimes I can get stuck when I do this.  So when I thought about my vision, it was a little bit more action-oriented.  So it was living boldly, daringly, intentionally.  So being thoughtful about everything I'm doing and really just living in the moment, because I struggle personally with a lot of fear and angst about the unknown, so that's something to work toward. 

And take a look at your milestones.  Look over those for just a moment.  What do you have written down?  And don't let the mind come in, play and say you can't achieve those.  Just look at what you've written down.  Some of the ones I have, I have working towards forgiveness.  I have being an expert in neuroscience.  I really believe in that, by the end of the year.  I have advancing from intermediate French to advanced French by the end of the year.  And something simple, meditate daily.  And it can be a 30-second meditation, or it might be a 35-minute meditation, just something like that. 

But let's just think about how we can put those milestones into play.  Start today, what could you do to accomplish one of them or start your journey towards one of them?  Share them with people.  It helps to think them, write them, say them, share them, helps keep us accountable and honest with ourselves about what we're trying to achieve and something to look forward to. 

Go ahead and close your eyes one last time.  Let's come back to feeling the feet.  And just notice right now what the overall mood of your physical body, maybe what your emotions are.  How are you feeling right now?  Maybe have a moment of gratitude that despite everything coming at you right now you were able to sit in this practice in this session and dream, come up with visions for yourself, empowering yourself, taking control and how good that feels to take control of something.  Set your intention for today.  How do you want to feel the rest of the day today?  And softly blink open your eyes again. 

Thank you so much for joining.  Make sure to check back in with Patient Power.  If you'd like to rewatch this video, you can find it on our website, Patient Power.info.  You can check back onto the Facebook feed and find it as well.  If you have any questions or any topic ideas, please reach out to us at Patient Power.  And also just remember that whatever you are, wherever you are just know that you can choose how you want to feel every day, and I encourage you to do that.  Thank you so much for participating.  Have an awesome day.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on September 4, 2019