Experts reveal the cause of out-of-nowhere negativity and the thought-shift that quickly restore calm.
You’re busily plowing through your day as usual – going to work, popping in to visit Aunt Rhonda in the hospital, running into the supermarket- when you encounter a rude shopper or get cut off by an angry driver, and suddenly you’re trapped in a bad mood for hours . The reason? Though neuroscientist have determined that the natural life span of an emotion is a mere 90 seconds, we end up replaying mental scripts that literally hijack our brain and keep us locked into painful states like anxiety, anger and sadness, explains Ronald Siegel , an assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and author of the Mindfulness Solution. “Our minds have a very strong tendency to focus on the negative – to remember bad experiences and anticipate that bad things will happen in the future, “ he notes. “Without realizing it, we get caught up in ‘though loops’ that initiate negative emotions and keep them rolling , robbing us of the happiness we deserve.” Fortunately, simple mindfulness practices that switch our focus to the present moment have a powerful ability to free us from these damaging mental scripts and restore joy. “They allow us to step back and witness these scripts so we can see them for the traps the are,” says Siegel. “And once you recognize how they operate, you can defuse their effects rather that being hijacked by them, “he promises. Read on for four easy mindfulness techniques that can restore peace and positivity – instantly.
HOW YOU’RE FEELING
“I NEED TO GET EVEN”
Anger arises as a ‘fight or flight” response to anything we perceive as a threat. “ says Siege. So when a driver cuts us off or a coworker steals our idea, the ‘fight” reactions kick in, making us want to get even. But past resentments create a vengeful script that we play over and over in our mind and play out by overreacting to minor slight- by laying on the born or firing off furious emails to colleagues, for instance. This keeps fight pathways activated, trapping us in anger.
“I’M DESTINED FOR DISASTER”
Worries about our child’s grades, our finances or our job status are based in the fear that disaster is sure to stoke. “We imagine the worst will happen and our mind enters a loop where we ruminate on that disaster and how to aver it , “ Siegel notes. But obsessing about worst-case scenanos only helps us come up with a solution to our problems. I out of 100 times
, he says “Typically our worry-loop returns to disaster over and over, which reinforces our fear.”
“I’M MISSING OUT”
That pang of envy you feel when your sister slims down or your boss buys a fancy new house doesn’t mean you’re small-minded, assures Robert Leahy. Ph.D. author of The Worry Cure . It just means you’re human . “Everyone feels envy, in fact, there are other who will envy you .” he says. But by comparing ourselves to others, we can get stuck in resentment that sabotages happiness. “And since we view envy as a petty emotion, we tend to hide it, which makes its destructive impact worse.”
FLIP THE SCRIPT
“THERE’S NO REAL THREAT”
To disarm an angry reaction, Siegel advises switching your focus to your breathing. “Pay attention to how your in-breathe feels and how your out-breath feels, stay with each in-and-out cycle as long as you can. “If you notice your thoughts wandering to anger, gently bring your awareness back to your breaths. “This practice helps us gain a more peaceful perspective that keeps us from getting waylaid by reactions to perceived threats.”
“I’AM SAFE RIGHT NOW”
To stop runway worries, Siegel advises taking a walk in nature or gazing at a houseplant. “Connecting with nature discharges anxiety by shifting our attention to something safe and ending that’s outside of ourselves, notes Siegel. “Plus , it helps us accept uncertaintes by reassuring us that we’re part of something larger, which for some means nature’s life cycle and for others means being children of God”
“THERE’S ALWAYS ENOUGH”
When envy crops up, Leafy advises treating it like a telemarketing call: Acknowledge it, then drop or and spend five minutes focusing on grateful thoughts.” Think of something or someone that’s important to you, like your eyesight or your kids. Then imagine your life without that and welcome it back. “The resulting is with a sense of apprectiastion, he explains. “Instead of feeling resentful , you’ll feel whole.
HOW YOU ARE FEELING
“I LET EVERYONE DOWN”
Even when we’ve our best, reflective on dreams we abandoned,goals we didn’t meet and precious moments we missed with loved ones can leave us riddled with regrets and set a damaging script of self-blame in motion.
“it;s amazing how unkindly we speak to ourselves when we feel we’ve failed-we say,”You idiot! What were you thinking?”Siegel notes. The problem,he points out.
When we’re stuck in blaming or hating ourselves,we’re unable to fully experience the joy in life.
FLIP THE SCRIPT
“I’M WORTHY OF LOVE”
Showing yourself the compassion that a caring friend would show can derail self-blame,assures Siegel, To do bring to mind a loving person or deity and focus on the positive feelings you have for them.”Then imagine them sending those feelings to you and join in them,returning loving kindness by saying.’May i be happy’,May i feel loved,’ or ‘May i forgive myself.’ he suggests.
“This actually trains the heart to generate a loving,understanding attitude toward yourself.”
Video is taken from: AsapSCIENCE