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The SARA Exercise

Mental Health

Written by Eva Malanowski

July 23, 2020

I created the SARA exercise to release intense and negative emotions. SARA is an acronym for:

Scan

Acknowledge

Release

Affirm

 

Unreleased emotions cause blockages in the body. 

 

The first step of SARA, is to imagine a scanner moving down the body identifying where in the body you are experiencing an emotion. Once the emotion is identified, you want to acknowledge it, say to yourself, I feel sadness, and I feel it in my chest, or I feel anger and it feels like a tightness in my stomach. Just be with the emotion, without judging it or trying to make it go away. Next you want to release the emotion. Say to yourself, “I’m releasing and letting it go,” and breath it out. You can repeat this several times. Next affirm what you actually want. Often you are affirming exactly the opposite of what is bothering you. So if you feel that people are uncooperative and irritating, you say:  “I am so thankful and grateful that my life is filled with helpful and cooperative people.” Repeat the affirmation three times and say it like you mean it!

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