From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I have been taking a mindfulness course over the past few weeks. Mindfulness is a well-known concept to me, and there is always more to learn.
One theme that strikes me this time is the idea of being curious about emotions. That emotional responses will rise and fall throughout the day, that circumstances and situations will cause anger to flare or my stomach to tie up in knots or for me to feel instantly vulnerable.
I am urged by this current trainer not to stuff that down or be troubled that I am feeling a certain way. Just ride it out; take a minute to check in to what I am feeling and get curious as to why.
I think we all know how it feels to be in different emotional states, and that there are many that cause almost instant behavioural or physical reactions. Here we are being encouraged to just pause and think about what is really causing the emotion. Am I angry because the app on my phone is not working quickly enough or am I in fact nervous about the big interview that is coming up and my swirling emotions are taking it out on an easy target, troublesome technology?
The gurus of mindfulness say that the sweet spot is the time between what happens and our reaction. This is the time that we can choose to stay present, lean in, get curious – and not pitch that cell phone through the nearest window, but instead take notice of what is really going on. In that few seconds we can make a choice about our next move, take a deep breath, reset, reframe and carry on with grace and determination.
Equally, sometimes even after a pause, we need to expel angry energy. But at least we know why we are doing it and can tackle the cause while we are sweeping up the glass or other fall out.
Mindfulness always reminds that at any time we can return to a more balanced state just by taking a deep breath.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com