Getting bad news

I have been tested lately in how I respond to bad news. My siblings and our partners, have reached an age when scary medical issues like cancer and heart disease are starting to pop up.

My response upon hearing news of such a diagnosis is to over-react, become worried and nauseous. My tendency to catastrophise kicks in.

Mindfulness training can help to cope with the worry at such tough and scary times.

Below is the mindfulness practice I'd recommend.

On receiving bad news;

Notice your physical and mental reaction, (eg tightening of the chest, constriction of the throat) and the thoughts running through your mind. Pause.

Take 4 deep slow breaths, willing yourself to become aware of the feeling of each breath and feel the sensation of your feet and the contact with the ground.

In doing this you are aware of being in the present moment, letting thoughts of catastrophising go, to be able to ask yourself,

“What’s most needed here now?” Let the answer come to you and then proceed.


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