Working with Opposites


  1. The following are examples of feeling opposites. Feel free to add your own. If a set of paired opposites doesn’t resonate with your experience, write in how you experience the opposite of the feeling you are working with.
  2. Locate a paired set of feelings and move back and forth between each opposite. Begin by experiencing the more positive feeling, before proceeding to its opposite.
  3. Allow each feeling to be your embodied experience before going to its opposite.
  4. For instance, feel areas of the body where there are sensations of weight, mass, or density.
  5. Allow these sensations to increase.
  6. Then find sensations of lightness in the body and allow these sensations to increase.
  7. Go back and forth several times between the opposites.
  8. Then hold both opposites simultaneously. (Note that we do not merge opposites. We hold opposites at the same time without trying to merge, fix, or change them.)
  9. Then proceed to experience a new pair of opposites such as warm and cool.

Source: iRest

Applicable Opposites:

  • Alert – Sleepy
  • At-Ease – Uneasy
  • Calm – Nervous
  • Dull  – Sharp
  • Faint – Strong
  • Hard – Soft
  • Heavy – Light
  • Lethargic – Alert
  • Loose – Tight
  • Painful – Pleasurable
  • Relaxed – Tense
  • Stable – Unstable
  • Tense – Relaxed
  • Weak – Strong
  • Overwhelmed – Underwhelmed
  • Confident – Unsure
  • Proactive – Reactive
  • Engaged – Unengaged
  • Well – Sick



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