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  • Kristin Miller, PhD, Psychologist

Creating Mental Health - Learn to Pair Comfort with Emotional Distress

Updated May 2, 2021

Smiling lady feeling positive emotions.

Photo: Smiling woman with raised arms

Did you know this is mental health awareness month? What does that mean?

Many just ignore it. I am not mentally ill. But, if we replace the word mental with emotional health, then we can all join in and learn to pair comfort with emotional distress.

No one goes through life without experiencing stress, trauma, or abuse, but most don’t take the time to respond to their distress with practices that can calm the emotions and help us bounce back into life with a smile on our face.

Drawing of woman with both hands to heart

Let’s try one together. I love Connected Heart Breathing because it gives my distress a place to relax in the comfort of love and support.


Heart Focus: Place both hands on top of each other at the center of your chest. Right hand over left or left hand over right is equally good.

Heart Breathing: Breathe gently and deeply as if you are breathing in and out of your heart. Perhaps you can feel the warmth of your hands and the beat of your heart. You may choose to stay at this phase for a long time to savor and explore sensations in your body. Alternatively, you may choose to move on and learn to cultivate a positive felt sense of emotions.

Heart Feeling: Recall a positive feeling of love, appreciation, or gratitude. Breath this feeling in and out of your heart. Again, you may choose to stay at this phase for a longer time, learning how to cultivate a sense of love and comfort in your body.

Pairing Heart Feeling/Comfort with Distress: Notice areas of emotional distress. Breath the positive feeling you have cultivated into those areas and allow that stress to melt/relax into the comfort of the breath out.

End by expressing gratitude for all the love and blessings in your life.


Many have never been taught emotional health is the driving force behind our ability to have positive relationships, feel happy, and be joyfully engaged in life. In fact, those that experience repeated abuse, often learn to avoid their emotions, because they are too painful to bare. But rest assured, if you find practices that bring comfort to your emotional distress, you can flourish and dance the dance of life joyfully with us all.

Check out some of these practices at - Finding Recover and Empowerment from Abuse .

Blessings from Kristin Miller, Ph.D. FREA and R4R Trainer

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