Workbench Exercise

Deepening our understanding of ourselves

This is the fourth Workbench Exercise of our Mindfulness for Men Course. This is a space meant for you to reflect and write down your thoughts, then optionally save them (to your device) or print them. Note that nothing you write below gets saved by our site.

Lesson 4. Developing Emotional Resilience: Workbench Exercise

Reflecting on the Equanimity Practice

Take a few minutes to fill out this form below, with what you noticed during the practice.

Sensations in the body (e.g., pleasant, unpleasant, neutral; met with resistance; willing to feel as is):
Thoughts (e.g., judging thoughts, creating narratives about sensations, remembering):
Sounds (e.g., sounds in the body, sounds in the room, sounds outside the room):
Emotions or Attitudes (e.g., receptivity, restlessness, acceptance):
Impulses or Behaviours (e.g., wanting to stop or decrease unpleasant sensations):

Equanimity is a powerful skill to develop, as it can help us avoid acting on intense reactions – and their associated thoughts and emotions – and instead use them as sources of information that may inform how we wish to respond.

Managing our intense reactions is like learning to ride a horse. At first, it may feel like we’re on a wild and untamed stallion, with our emotions bucking and galloping in all directions. But just as a skilled rider learns to communicate and connect with their horse, we can learn to understand and relate to our reactions.

Much like using gentle guidance to steer the horse in the right direction, we can use our body awareness, combined with equanimity, to navigate our reactions.

Our gut feelings, like a horse, may sense danger before we do. By being in tune with our feelings we can pick up on any signals and then decide how to respond, rather than letting our reactions – or the horse – control us.

With consistent effort and a steady hand, we’ll find that we can ride the waves of our reactions, allowing us to recognize thoughts and feel emotions with equanimity. Ultimately, learning to manage our reactions is about developing the same art of balancing that exists between a rider and their horse.