Scroll down to find a full transcription of this episode.
Consider what you want to make space for in your life in this 6-minute contemplation guided by Alex Elle.
How to Do This Practice:
1. Take a few deep breaths. File up your belly on each inhale. Drop your shoulder and soften your body on each exhale.
2. Say these eight phrases to yourself, or your own variation of it. Consider which resonates with you the most,
- “In the presence of fear, I will make space for courage.”
- “In the presence of self-doubt, I will make space for self-belief.”
- “In the presence of hurriedness, I will make space for slowing down.”
- “In the presence of overwhelm, I will make space for rest.”
- “In the presence of overthinking, I will make space for letting go.”
- “In the presence of chaos, I will make space for inner peace.”
- “In the presence of confusion, I will make space for clarity.”
- “In the presence of pain, I will make space for self-compassion.”
3. Bring your attention to the line from this meditation that resonates with you the most. Think about all the ways you wish to make space so you can bloom into the best version of yourself.
4. Write it down, perhaps on a sticky note, and keep it somewhere you can see it.
Today’s Happiness Break host:
Alex Elle is a breathwork coach, author and restorative writing teacher. Her new book, How We Heal, will be published this November. Keep an eye on our Instagram page, @greatergoodmag for a chance to win a copy.
Learn more about Alex and her new book: https://www.alexelle.com/about
Follow Alex on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex/
Follow Alex on TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@easewithalex
More resources from The Greater Good Science Center:
We love hearing from you! Tell us about your experience of holding silence. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the hashtag #happinesspod.
Find us on Apple Podcasts: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
Help us share Happiness Break! Leave us a 5-star review and copy and share this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p9h5aap
We’re living through a mental health crisis. Between the stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, burnout — we all could use a break to feel better. That’s where Happiness Break comes in. In each biweekly podcast episode, instructors guide you through research-backed practices and meditations that you can do in real-time. These relaxing and uplifting practices have been shown in a lab to help you cultivate calm, compassion, connection, mindfulness, and more — what the latest science says will directly support your well-being. All in less than ten minutes. A little break in your day.
Dacher Keltner I’m Dacher Keltner. Welcome Happiness Break, a series by The Science of Happiness. Today we’re going to take a little break by making space for ourselves. This means giving ourselves the permission to let go of self judgment just for a few minutes and approach our needs with more compassion.
Research shows that when we practice self-compassion, we’re less likely to feel anxious and stressed and much more likely to feel happy and resilient. We know this kind of mindful slowing down can help regulate your heart rate, reduce inflammation that’s caused by stress, and improve sleep. Guiding us in today’s Making Space meditation is Alex Elle. Alex is a breathwork coach, restorative writing teacher and the author of the new book, How We Heal.
Alex Elle Hello everyone, I am so honored to be here with you. In today’s meditation, we are going to be exploring what it means to make space in our lives and get rooted in clarity. As we prepare for our time together, I’d like for you to think about: Where do you want more clarity in your life? What do you want to breathe into? What do you want to make space for? Let’s dive right in.
Making space for clarity, rest, and healing will require us to let go of thoughts, feelings, and things that weigh us down and keep us stuck. Not everything we’ve been holding onto can come with us. Letting go is uncomfortable, but keeping a tight grip on what needs to be released will harm more than it will help. Self-doubt will not serve us on this journey.
This making space meditation can be repeated daily as a reminder to give yourself permission to let go of fear and self-doubt before your day begins or after your day ends. I’d also like you to think about what line from this meditation resonates with you the most. Write it down, put it on a sticky note and keep it somewhere that you can see it. Filling up your belly on each inhale, dropping your shoulders and softening your body on each exhale.
In the presence of fear, I will make space for courage. In the presence of self-doubt, I will make space for self-belief. In the presence of feeling hurried, I will make space for slowing down. In the presence of overwhelm, I will make space for rest. In the presence of overthinking, I will make space for letting go. In the presence of chaos, I will make space for inner peace. In the presence of confusion, I will make space for clarity. In the presence of pain, I will make space for self-compassion.
Grounding down into this moment. I want you to bring your attention to the phrase that resonated with you the most. Think about all the ways you want or need to make space so that you can unfurl and bloom into the best version of yourself.
We live in a world that forces us to know what’s next. But in this moment, I’d like you to give yourself grace and patience as you sort through your emotional toolbox and move things around and release things that are no longer yours to carry. So that you can find a space in your life for what is truly meant to be yours.
Thank you so much for being with me today. My name is Alex Elle, until next time, take good care.
Dacher Keltner Today’s meditations about making space is from Alex’s new book, How We Heal. We’re giving away copies of How We Heal to 10 lucky winners and their friends on our Instagram page, at greater good mag. Check out our page for details on how to enter. I’m Dacher Keltner, thanks for taking this Happiness Break with us. Happiness Break is produced by PRX and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.