Resources and Learning Article  

Suggested Strategies for transforming distressing emotions through self- observation and inner dialogue 

Content provided by Filomena Duarte. 

Nurture Contentment (Santosha Niyama) 

The 6×6 Test 

To be used before over-reacting to a situation! 
Ask yourself ‘How might I feel about it 6 years from now’? If you believe that you will feel less stressed, worried, anxious or upset, then you can ask yourself how you will feel in 6 months. Again you may realise that in 6 months the event won’t bother you so much. 
If so, move the time frame closer to the present asking the same question for 6 weeks, 6 hours, 6 minutes. 
This works by helping reduce the negative thought and emotion which has activated the ‘fight or flight response’ of the Sympathetic Nervous System. This may be aided by putting the event into perspective by saying to yourself ‘I may not like what has happened but I certainly can deal with it and know I’ll get over it’. 


‘This principle is recognized in the Chinese language, where the character representing ‘crisis’ is a composite of 2 characters- one meaning ‘danger’ and the other meaning ‘opportunity’. 
Reframing means to grasp the opportunity. To see the positive in every situation. 
Saying and affirming to yourself ‘This too shall pass… and I will move ahead in life’. 
This method avoids the ‘always’ and ‘never’ internal dialogue which we have with ourselves when an event, that we are averse to, happens. We tell ourselves it will always happen in the future. This practice transforms the negative ‘helplessness/hopelessness’ into ‘positive potential’. 
Further, we can reframe the negative idea of stress and fear itself. To recognize and examine the source of the attachment or aversion. If left unquestioned, the mind repeats it, it becomes a habit of the mind and our reaction is automatic. We then have no choice in our response. Self-observation and self-study is an empowering component of The Niyamas of Yoga Philosophy. Fear, in The Yoga Sutras, is the most powerful contaminant or obstacle to Spiritual growth, however, as below, it has its purpose in our everyday living. 

Acceptance and Insight 

Anxiety, in stressful situations, is exacerbated by our attachment or aversion to a particular outcome in the future. If we can let go, we relieve the emotional distress. 
Aparigraha= Non-grasping/non-possessiveness. This is another concept taken from Patanjali and follows from non-attachment. The more you have, the more you have to look after and the more you fear you may lose- whether this is to do with objects, people, and experiences. The principle being that whatever you have now, is enough, so enjoy NOW (Back to Contentment)! 
(Suggestions and quotes taken and adapted from ‘The Quiet Mind- Techniques for Transforming Stress’ Edited by John Harvey PHD- The Himalayan Institute Press) 
Other Suggestions 
‘Talking Therapies’- e.g Counselling, Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (C.B.T) etc….. And Friends and Family 
If devotionally inclined- Prayer, chanting and singing. 
Personal Affirmations-e.g ‘’I will, I must, I can’’ or ‘’I am fine…it is the mind playing tricks’’ or make up your own- Repeat as a Mantra. 
Mindful walking, exercise, fun activities.. 
Selfless Service/Karma Yoga . 
Good Company! 
‘’We Are Stronger Together’’! 
For personal guidance or handouts on breathing and meditation practises contact Filomena Duarte (Fil) direct by e-mail on or phone 01628-669159 to leave a message. 
To read Fil's profile click here 

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