The RAIN Technique: A Mindfulness-Based Approach to Helping Anxious Children and Young People
Anxiety is a common emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, for some children and young people, anxiety can be a debilitating problem that interferes with their daily lives.
There are a number of things that can be done to help anxious children and young people, one such technique is the RAIN technique.
The RAIN technique is a mindfulness-based approach to dealing with difficult emotions. It was developed by Tara Brach, a psychologist and meditation teacher.
The acronym RAIN stands for:
- Recognise: Notice the difficult emotion without judgment.
- Accept: Allow the emotion to be there without trying to push it away.
- Investigate: Explore the emotion with curiosity and compassion.
- Nurture: Offer yourself kindness and support.
The RAIN technique can be used to deal with any difficult emotion, such as anxiety, sadness, anger, or fear. It can also be used to deal with difficult thoughts or memories.
To use the RAIN technique, simply follow these steps:
- Recognise the difficult emotion. What are you feeling? Where in your body do you feel it?
- Accept the emotion. Don’t try to push it away or judge it. Just allow it to be there.
- Investigate the emotion. What is the emotion trying to tell you? What need is it trying to meet?
- Nurture yourself. Offer yourself kindness and support. Let yourself know that you are not alone and that you can handle this.
The RAIN technique can be used in any situation, but it is especially helpful when you are feeling overwhelmed by difficult emotions. It can help you to stay present and to respond to the emotion in a healthy way.
Here are some additional tips for using the RAIN technique with anxious children and young people:
- Be gentle with them. The RAIN technique is not about forcing them to feel better. It is about giving them the space to experience their emotions in a safe and supportive way.
- Take your time. There is no need to rush through the RAIN technique. Take your time and allow them to fully experience each step.
- Be patient. It may take some time for them to get used to the RAIN technique. Don’t give up if they don’t see results immediately. Just keep practicing and they will eventually start to see a difference.
This technique can be a helpful tool anyone can use to support an anxious person. By following the steps above, you can help a child or young person learn how to manage their anxiety in a healthy way.
- McDonald, M. (2008). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York, NY: Hyperion.
- TherapistAid. (2022, March 8). The RAIN Technique: A Mindfulness-Based Practice for Difficult Emotions. Retrieved July 27, 2023, from https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-worksheet/rain-mindfulness-technique
- Brach, T. (2012, February 1). The RAIN Meditation: A Guide to Mindfulness for Difficult Emotions. Retrieved July 27, 2023, from https://www.tarabrach.com/rain/