RAIN technique for overwhelming emotions

RAIN is a mindfulness technique that has been taught by Buddhist teachers and therapists to help people deal with distressing emotions, worries, and anxiety. The method can also be used to cope with an episode of emotional hunger and stress eating or drinking.

I have used this technique myself, and with practice, it can become like a little counseling session in your head, sometimes it can take a few minutes, sometimes it takes a good walk or mindless task to get to the finish line.

What does RAIN stand for?

  • Recognize
  • Acknowledge
  • Investigate and
  • Non-identification I have renamed this “Not me” since I always find it hard to remember otherwise


Recognize, this is just a matter of bringing awareness to what is happening.

Is this true hunger? Or am I stressed, sad, frustrated, ashamed, angry, and feeling emotionally hungry.

Name the emotion or thought you are having “I don’t know how I’m ever going pass this exam” “when is it my turn to be loved” “I’m so embarrassed” “it is that worry again” “my shoulders are so tight I feel so stressed out.”

Sometimes just taking this mindful pause is all that is needed.


Acknowledge. Allow the feeling, you don’t have to like it but accept that it is there.

Just for this minute don’t try to distract yourself or numb the feeling away.

Accept that this is where you are for the moment. Acknowledge that this is where the hunger to eat is coming from “I want to eat to try to numb these feelings.”


Become a detective and turn inward.

What is happening in my body? Where do I feel this?

My jaw tight, a knot in my stomach, my breath is shallow and fast.

Why am I feeling like this? What do I need to believe for this scenario in my head to be true? Is what I am thinking based on fact?

Be kind to yourself try to reframe self-talk “I’m so weak” “I’m a terrible person for thinking that.”

Talk to your self like you would to a child that is struggling with a problem.

Non-identification “Not me.”

Step away from the feeling. “I am a failure” becomes “that moment didn’t go as planned,” “I’m such an embarrassment” “ I noticed I felt embarrassed after doing that “I’m an angry person,” “wow that person made me mad.”

Let me know how this goes for you, I would love you to share specific examples of going through the rain technique. You can do this by emailing me on coachkaylie@gmail.com or in the comments below.

Please pin this post or share it with a friend, if you found this helps someone else will as well.

More information about RAIN technique can be found here.

The rain technique can be used for overwhelming emotions as well as feelings that trigger emotional eating or drinking. Try it for yourself.