Be REAL Week 8 (10-week)




Widening our Window of Tolerance (Part 2)


This week, we tapped into our compassion as we discussed navigating challenging situations and interactions with common humanity, peace, and kindness. We also practiced how to navigate challenging situations using the progressive muscle relaxation techniques.


Move, Release Tension & Breathe

Walk, stretch, dance, garden – anything to move! Short bursts of activity can boost energy and decrease fatigue. This article lists free classes – including videos and live streaming sessions from strength training to Zumba. This article highlights online workouts, with many family ones.

Release Tension
Progressive Muscle Relaxation can help soothe anxiety and promote restful sleep. All you do is breathe in and gently tighten a group of muscles; then breathe out and release them. Try our 8-minute Progressive Muscle Relaxation (Relajacion de Musculos Progresiva).

Breathing out longer than you breathe in can help slow down the heart rate and turn on the relaxation response. Our audio file  +2 Breathing (Respiración Extendida) can help you practice.
Note: If exhaling 2 counts longer doesn’t feel comfortable, try 1 count or a brief pause. The breath always changes so find what you need.


Compassion and Common Humanity

No matter our differences, we all experience joys, suffering and other aspects of being human. Sometimes, reminding ourselves of common humanity can diffuse feelings of annoyance or a tendency to over-personalize situations.

“Just Like Me” is a practice that can remind us of our common humanity. It can be helpful if we are upset with someone because it allows us to consider how they may be working through some of the same experiences or feelings as us. For example, if I see a teacher respond to a student in a way I think isn’t effective, I might have an automatic reaction and think “I can’t believe they said that!”. Using “Just Like Me”, I can pause, reflect and consider how they might be having a difficult day, may have been triggered by something, and – like me – are still growing as a teacher. 


Peace and Kindness

The Peace and Kindness meditation can help us feel connected to people we love, as well as expand our circle of compassion to people we don’t know. Research shows that practicing this meditation increases feelings of warmth and happiness, as well as kindness towards ourselves. It works by recognizing we all want the same basic things in life – good health, safety, happiness, and peace – and this can counteract feelings of loneliness. 
Title of image: Peace and kindness. May you be healthy. May you be happy. May you be safe and protected. May you be at peace and at ease.
In this practice, you extend wishes of well-being to people. Use the statements in the image above, or alter them as needed so they are meaningful to you. You can picture specific people, such as someone you love and miss right now. You can also think of people whom you don’t know but wish to extend thoughts too – such as staff in the grocery store or healthcare workers.

Get started with our guided 10-minute Peace & Kindness practice (Paz y Bondad).

A note about the roots of this practicePeace and Kindness is a mettā practice. Mettā means “loving-kindness” or “benevolence” in Pāli, and originates from the Sanskrit word maitrī. Sanskrit and Pāli are Indo-Aryan languages.


Home Practice

Noticing Practices

  • Just Like Me

Guided & Reflective Practices


About Be REAL
Be REAL (Resilient Attitudes & Living) was developed at the University of Washington Center for Child & Family Well-Being. The program’s aim is to promote the well-being of college students and staff by building skills to cope with emotions, navigate challenging situations, and strengthening internal awareness. Learn more.






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