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The Triggers Of Our Environment

Our environment provides us with triggers like food, caffeine, job stress, a swear word from a driver, rain or music, that can cause us to form a certain mood, or feel a certain emotion inside us.

These triggers are often subtle and can be routinized by our mind. The worst part is that we don’t consider ourselves as a witness to a mood or emotion, but become the mood or emotion itself. This false sense of self leaves no space between the emotion and our own identity.

@mrfrost

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Moods Vs Emotions

Emotions (like rage) are a jolt of energy with a short duration and are also called ‘action potentials’. This is because they provide information that energizes you towards a particular action.

Moods are states of mind shaped by our current problems, stress, thought and rumination. Moods that go on longer than a day or two can cause anxiety or depression.

  • Simply having better thoughts and thinking about something else is not going to help in changing our mood, even if it seems so in the short run.
  • Mindfulness meditation untangles our self from the mood or emotion and creates space in between. This helps us remove the identification we have with the emotion.
  • The space that mindfulness provides can be very valuable if we want to choose to respond to our emotions and not react like before.
  • If you can’t meditate, good sleep can reset your mind and provide clarity of thought, making you respond to the triggers in a better way.

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  • As your mind starts to wander or gets distracted, and random thoughts related to the regrets, dreams and worries about the past or the future begin to flash before you, try to observe them neutrally as passing thoughts, without clinging to them.
  • Do not resist, chase or pull away from your chain of thoughts, and try to recognize your moment-to-moment awareness.
  • Apart from thoughts, you may find certain changes in the mood or other feelings bubbling up on the surface for you to explore.
  • Be aware of the rhythmic breath of your body, from the tip of your nose to your chest/belly.
  • Focus on any sensations that occur on your feet, legs or hands.

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IDEAS

  • Decreased stress: you learn to manage your triggers.
  • Better communication in relationships: it helps you to tolerate and manage difficult emotions and then find more productive ways to work through difficulties.
  • Decreased anxiety: you train your mind to stop fearing its own emotional reactions.
  • You stick with your goals: you learn to deal with emotions like anxiety, shame, regret.
  • Increased self-awareness: you learn to build a better relationship with your emotions.
Seeking scientific validation

A handful of studies have been published on the efficacy of mindfulness apps, thanks in part to Headspace, one of the most popular apps in the field. In hopes of getting its app scientifically validated, the organization has partnered on more than 60 studies with 35 academic institutions. In the meantime, in lieu of research proving that apps work, marketers tend to draw misleading, but attractive claims.