"Life Moves Through Us in Real Time"

"Life Moves Through Us in Real Time"

Catching on to my thinking is a life saver. When I started bringing gentle awareness to notice where there are endless loops in my thinking, called ruminating, things began to shift. Even if you "know" this it's great to check in and consider whether there's rumination happening at times....

I know this endless loop thinking really well and see how easy it is to go down this rabbit hole. Over and over. Which is of course why it's called practice. Rick Hanson shares some simple tips, below. They work.

These notes/quotes are from a Q&A talk given by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. 
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The Triangular Trap
"The brain is designed to be shaped by experiences, especially negative experiences. The brain was especially shaped by negative experiences in childhood.

This 3-step model (Triangle) helps us understand how we get stuck in thinking the same thoughts over and over (rumination).

1. A memory maybe from childhood or a younger time is triggered. It is a natural experience that you feel in your body and perhaps you're aware of thoughts that accompany it in your mind. Even though you might have felt criticized when you were 7 years old, the same feelings arise as if you were being criticized fresh today. You may have thoughts like, "I'm not good enough."

2.  "You expect the dreaded experience. You expect pain. This will feel bad." 

3. "The brain shuts down the experience." This is a way to help us manage the expected pain. By trying to keep the experience of pain at bay, it creates the effect of holding onto it. It helps in the short run but eventually we need to know in our bones that even if we are criticized, it will be alright. 

By trying to ward off the Dreaded Experience (of being criticized, for example) we're trying to keep away something even more problematic like feeling unworthy or unlovable.

"How Do We Grow Resources that Last and Really Matter? What Would Enable Me to Risk Having the Dreaded Experience so I don't have to hold it at bay? What Helps me Move Through My Life in Real Time?" Here's some suggestions from him:

  • "Come to a truth moment. Ask yourself honestly: Is this kind of smelly?
  • Have a conviction in your own knowing that this (ruminating) isn't good for me.
  • Think about Dr. Phil: "How's this working for you?"
  • Get honest about it: what's (really) happening here?
  • Who is this really impacting?
  • Quoting a Tibetan teacher - "Having the same thoughts again and again - that's okay. But 10x is enough! Be clear with ourselves: I can let it go."
  • "Locate the good around you in whatever way you can tolerate it. Have more of the good, as more of it inside me." Noticing good things is a great place to start. Taking them into you, letting them touch you, makes them alive for you in a more lasting way.
  • "Look for rewards; take in the good feeling of rewards; look back on the rewards you've had."
  • "Keep a daily journal of the good, taking it in. Keep it going."

If you'd like support to let go of ruminating and grow resources to feel worthy inside, contact me. We'll set up a free phone chat to answer any questions about working together to start rewiring Life in Real Time. 

@2017, Charlotte Nuessle