Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you carefully observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them good or bad. _ Psychology Today
Without judging them good or bad. Your thoughts and feelings simply are.
Did you know that the physiological response to an emotion is 90 seconds? That’s it! After that, it only lingers if you feed it. I learned that mind blowing fact in Pema Chodron’s book Living Beautifully.
This is life altering, people!
It means we can sit with an emotion, observing the sensations and thoughts it creates for 90 seconds, the POOF, allow it to dissipate.
The only thing that will keep it going, is to keep thinking about it. Knowing this fact, we can feed positive emotions and keep them going, so that’s cool. More importantly, we can also starve negative emotions by refusing to dwell on them.
Easier said than done? Sure, but Perma provides an simple yet powerful technique for this.
As your thoughts start to go down rabbit holes … how dare that jerk cut me off like that … I can’t believe he did that … he could have caused an accident …. you simply cut off the stream by labeling what you are doing. You are ‘thinking’, so you say to yourself “thinking”, which effectively cuts off the diatribe, then immediately start focusing on inhaling and exhaling.
Until you really get the hang of this, the diatribe will start up again …. if he was that worried about getting to work on time, he should have left earlier … THINKING breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out …. I hate this commute to work … THINKING breath in, breath out, breath in, breath out, breath in … I really need to … THINKING breath in, breath out …. I can’t … THINKING breath in, breath out.
I have actually been using this technique in the middle of the night when my mind decides to kick in. Ugh I can’t get back to sleep … THINKING breath in, breath out … tomorrow I really need to … THINKING breath in, breath out.
I have been having the BEST.SLEEPS.EVER.
Negative emotions get the better of you? Remember, they only chemically last in the body for 90 seconds. After that it is a CHOICE to keep them fueled or not.
Now that I know this and have the THINKING technique, I am so freaking calm!
Zen baby, totally zen.