BRAIN stands for Breathe, Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nurture. Potentially a micro-moment during a flustering Zoom call. Or an hour long mediation in the woods.
Breathe — a conscious breath, or several, or hundreds. You are already breathing, but this step allows you to ground your awareness in your physical experience. Breathe into your belly and your sides, slowly. This creates calm and peace, which leads to more control of the moment and greater courage.
Recognize — that you are having an emotional experience. Experience is emotional experience, we just don’t always realize it. In this moment, recognize which emotions you are feeling.
Allow — don’t fight it or deny it or negate it. Let it be. Surf it. Float on it. Drift on it. Sail. Relax into it.
Investigate — ask further questions. What am I feeling? Why? Where are these feelings taking my mind? What are the 2nd and 3rd order thoughts and feelings happening as a result of this emotional chain reaction?
Nurture — draw on your kindness, sweetness, parenting skills, coaching skills, teaching skills. Feed yourself.
As part of Recognize, I also like R for “relax” the body. The 3 first steps together, B, R, and A are a moment of relaxation before a simple, matter-of-fact inquiry, or investigation, followed by a kind turn towards what’s next.