More than just mindfulness

Worry

November 11, 2018 Season 1 Episode 10
More than just mindfulness
Worry
Chapters
More than just mindfulness
Worry
Nov 11, 2018 Season 1 Episode 10
Robert Mitchell
An investigation into thought, worry and the practices we can use to neutralise unhelpful thought
Show Notes Transcript

In which we investigate the nature of thought, the nature of worry and how they relate.
We learn some meditations developed by the great Buddhist Vipassana teacher Mahasi Sayadaw and learn how we can build practices that enable us to neutralise unhelpful thought patterns.
Meditations and practices today are: labelling the breath, labelling our present moment experience, labelling the thoughts, labelling the unhelpful thought patterns.

Speaker 1:
0:01
Right? So today is about worry. And first of all, what I need to be able to do is to explain what worry is. Say it's best to start off with thought if we want to understand what worry is. And so I have this question that I ask everywhere I go and nobody can ever answer it. And the question is, what's the next thing you're going to think? Oh course nobody knows. But don't worry. It's not just us. There's 8 billion people and they don't know what they're going to think next either. Yeah. So you know you're going to think, but you don't know what it's going to be. And so what that tells us is that thought, there's two elements to thought. One is that it's spontaneous. Sorry. It's fine. There's a thought. There's another thought is like if I was to walk out this building and go and sit outside, I know that people would wander past, but I don't know who they'd be, which direction they'd be going, what they look like, anything like that.:
Speaker 1:
0:59
So it's, it's where observing something happening in a, in our awareness, it's spontaneous. And as well as that, I don't know anybody who cannot think permanently. So as a long term meditator it's very common for us to be able to silence our thoughts and I can silence my thoughts most of the time. In fact, there aren't many times when I can't silence my thoughts, but it's temporary and I don't know how long it's going to take before a thought arises and when it does arise, I don't know what it's going to be in the same way that as I'm talking now, I don't know what the next thing I'm going to say is. So I didn't know it was going to say that. I didn't know it was going to say that and I didn't know it.:
Speaker 1:
1:48
And this is something that we all experience. So what purpose does it serve? If you observe, if you witness your thoughts and one of the practices that we'll be teaching you today. In fact, the area of practice I'll be teaching the day is really useful for helping us to witness our thoughts, to notice what they are. So you can nominate a day where you're noticing your thoughts and then the reason you would want to do that is because you want to know what it consists of. Cause we only tend to get the highlights and we only, we are only aware of our thoughts when we intervene in the thought process. You know. So let's say you wandering along road while you're driving and you know you're, you're in your mind, mind's wandering and if you were to observe your thoughts, what you'll notice is that they have a tendency to focus on those areas where some things in consistent between your mental model of the world.:
Speaker 1:
2:57
So we've all got a mental model of the world. Uh, this person responds like this. This person responds like that. When I do this, this happens when I do something else, something else happened. We've got a geographical mental model of the world. We know how it get back downstairs, gets home, get to the station. Maybe we've got a mental model of all sorts of things. How, whether people appreciate or approve of us, whether they dislike us, whether they reject us, where we are in terms of how we relate to other people, status, relative wealth, and it's all in there and we've got a lot of expectations about how the world operates and it has to operate reasonably consistently, otherwise we can't operate in it. This is something that people find very, very difficult is if somebody else is inconsistent on the more inconsistent they are, the more thought that's going to generate and the emotion as well.:
Speaker 1:
4:02
Because if somebody is inconsistent enough, it can actually be quite disturbing, quite frightening. What we like is for people to be consistent and for our experience to be consistent because it's incredibly complex world that we're not designed for and the equipment that we've got to use in it is equipment that's designed for a different environment. So we're designed to live in nature with 150 people and we haven't evolved to live in artificial worlds with 8 million. There's just one thing that our primitive brain, which is always operating struggles with is anonymous strangers. And we've bought, we've all got a different response to anonymous strangers and were observing them. And we're looking at them to make sure that they're not somebody who is inconsistent or difficult or something like that. So, and that's, that's all going on in the background. And this is all done in by the subconscious, according to Carnarvon, who is one of the few psychologists to actually be awarded a Nobel prize.:
Speaker 1:
5:11
A, he says very specifically that the main purpose of the subconscious is to maintain and update a model of our personal world. And if you think about it for a moment, because thought is spontaneous but it's already fully formed, we don't know what it's going to be, is the product to the subconscious. So I, so in me talking to you now is actually my subconscious mind to talking to you. And so what happens when our model of the personal world is threatened or violated? What we need to do is make sense of that. So let's say you've got somebody who's consistent, consistent, consistent, consistent. All of a sudden their behavior changes and they do something destructive or self destructive or whatever that happens to be. Depending on the effects that it has on you or you lose someone or somebody leaves walks off or you, you have an unexpected experience, your model of the world has been changed and the more that it's changed, the more thought that gets generated.:
Speaker 1:
6:23
And so what we're doing is trying to make sense of it. What do I do? I do now? How can I change things? Can I change things? Is there something wrong with me? Do I need to change myself to, and it change what I'm doing, job, career, relationships, whatever it might happen to be. And then as well as our current experience being violated. So it might be something from the past that we've experienced as well as that what we're doing is looking into the future for potential threats. And so the greater the potential threat, then the more thought there is about it. And usually the amount of thought that we see, the amount of time that we spend focused on something is, is in aligned with whatever emotional effect it has on us. So if it's a big life changing thing that might happen in the future, I thought can be stuck there all the time.:
Speaker 1:
7:23
And that's basically what worry is. If it's out of proportion and it's unhelpful thinking about a future, that's fine. That's her. Got To know him. It's called planning. We've got to be very careful about the distinction between planning and and worrying. Many worriers rationalize their worrying by saying they're actually planning, but to plan you need to plan to plan. So if I'm going to plan, I'll put it in my diary and what not. Do Planning or maybe you know, I think, oh well everything's become a mess. I need to plan. So I'll do it now. And what I'll do is I'll allocate some time to to it. And I do it in a very specific way. And then from that I have a plan that I expect to follow whatever it might happen to be. And then when that's done, that's finished. If I was to go, what am I going to do?:
Speaker 1:
8:20
What we're going to do, what am I going to do? That's useful for awhile. But after awhile it can become persistent, unhelpful, repetitive, and compulsive. And then if we get into the habit of worrying in the good habit of anything, we can find ourselves worrying about one thing, worrying about another thing or another thing. And so the mind is, is always looking for potential threats, trying to identify and them worrying about them. And then Lo and behold, most of these potential threats don't actually materialize. So you know, if you, if you write down what your worries are and then you go at some point in the future and you go back and you look at your worries, very rarely, but it does happen from time to time, but very rarely has the thing that you're worrying about come to pass. You see? And so what that means is you're actually spending a lot of time.:
Speaker 1:
9:17
Your mind is in a place where it's looking at the future. You feel anxious, you're going over and over potential future outcomes that may or may not happen. And at the very least you're wasting your focus. And so if you come back to the present moment, we are as a group of Nice people. Yeah. So here we are all gathered together. Nice Group of people. If we are stressed and anxious and worried, we've actually brought that in to the room with us. Yeah. And so what it's done if I've got a worry is it's polluted. It's contaminated. My neutral present moment. There's no competition in the neutral present moment. And unless I spend a significant amount of time meditating, you eventually get to the point where the neutral present moment can be elevated into a joyful present moment. But that takes a while. The techniques I teach you a day are, are pretty fast by comparison.:
Speaker 1:
10:26
You should be able to use them when you leave the room. And um, so what we've done is, is our worry then pollutes and neutral present moment. And that's what life consists of. 99.9% of life is a succession of neutral present moment. And then with the occasional bad thing, the occasional good thing. Uh, but most of it, most of it is quite in Galvin. The morning you have a shower, you clean your teeth, you'd travel to work, or you go to whatever place is it is new. You generally meet people who are reasonably neutral. You can be unlucky and life can be a complete mess and you're stuck with a load of difficult people. But the answer to that is not in resolving your worry. The answer to that is in getting away from them. Uh, and if you, if you do get away from them, theoretically you should leave your worry behind.:
Speaker 1:
11:24
And if you don't, then what's happened is, is you've got into this habit of worrying. So I though it hasn't really got a definition, but I define it as dwelling on negative possible future outcomes. And it's, it's only a, you know, whether it's a problem or not, only you know, if it's excessive, so mind wandering, you're mind wandering to things that are unhelpful is not a bad thing. But when it becomes compulsive and he, you know that it's contributing to your unhappiness, that's the time to apply some practices to alleviate that. So there's a set of practices. I'm not a Buddhist, I'm not religious, I'm an agnostic, but all the best meditation teachers probably of the last 50 years or so. Well I'll, I'll, I'll Buddhist basically. So has this great Buddhist meditation teacher called Mahasi Cya door, I think he's Burmese and he developed a set of practice who's known as labeling or noting, I'm going to introduce you to it.:
Speaker 1:
12:46
The very easiest, simplest why. So if you get yourselves comfortable, as comfortable as you can get, it helps just to be able to focus on what we're going to focus on this. This isn't strictly speaking a meditation, it helps to close your eyes because that will help you to focus. But if you don't want to, that's fine. If you just look down at the floor, half close your eyes so you don't get distracted by anything that's going on around you. And maybe if you place your elbows by your side, you'll find that you're more likely to relax. And what we're going to do is notice a movement and the movement that we're going to notice is the movement of the belly.:
Speaker 2:
13:32
Okay?:
Speaker 1:
13:34
And the place to notice it is just at the point where the belly meets the chest. So this is the top of the ballet, just before the point where it meets the chest. I want you're able to notice there is the moment of the belly expanding and contracting. So tiny, tiny, almost indiscernible movement. You might be able to feel it. You might not, if you can't feel it, if you just place your fingers there, you're not just that movement.:
Speaker 2:
14:15
And:
Speaker 1:
14:16
this is, this is a thing that I call a meditation of no meditation because it's got elements of meditation. It's got elements that aren't meditation. That's what we're doing is noticing that sensation, right? Seeing the belly rising and noticing the belly fallen. What we're going to do is introduce a,:
Speaker 3:
14:53
we know that this was taught at least 2,500 years ago and so it's been with the service since it's stood the test of time.:
Speaker 2:
15:05
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
15:05
And what we're going to do is label the experience of the in breath on the out breath in our minds and the way to label it is just to use a word, so one of my breathing in the word we say in our mind is rising and when we breathe out the word we say and our mind is fall.:
Speaker 2:
15:34
Ron is in Poland now.:
Speaker 3:
15:40
There's no goal with this. There's no expectations. It's not mental training because it's not 100% a meditation. There's no expectations. You're not expected to have some experience when you're doing this in mind. Might be busy, you might be distracted, your mind might wander, they might be uncomfortable, whatever it might happen, the be and none of that matters. Doesn't make any difference. Yeah. The only thing we do, it's my notes in the belly rising and falling and on the in breath we say anti mind rising,:
Speaker 2:
16:21
hold on the out breath folding.:
Speaker 3:
16:25
Well just practice that for the next few minutes, so I'm not trying to get anything out of this. It doesn't give us anything. There's nothing to expect her goals. There's no way of doing it. Right.:
Speaker 2:
17:33
It doesn't matter what's happening.:
Speaker 3:
17:37
Just noticing this movement.:
Speaker 2:
17:40
That's fine. And that mine's rising. Unfolding. Yeah. Amen. Amen.:
Speaker 1:
19:47
I'm noticing whatever it is you can smell and whatever. You can taste an annual ferry on time. Just return your attention to your surroundings.:
Speaker 1:
20:02
Mine's not supposed to. Not Wonder. It's a very common thing for us to nominate a meditation because most of us want to calm our minds. So we come along and we're looking for calmness in a meditation and actually that's the wrong place. We need to look for the calmness out there. So why is this? This is just the training. This is a training. So when you're, if your mind's busy or your mind wanders as perfectly fine, that's all part of the experience. Okay, so that's a gentle introduction to labeling. I tend to use the word labeling instead of noting, which is the, the other terminology that's used. And so going back to thought, we know that thoughts arise. This is, this is the, the way that I explain it, I know one moment there isn't a thought. Next one there is and we don't know really know where it comes from.:
Speaker 1:
21:06
So can't pinpoint the location of the origin of thoughts in our experience. You know, close your eyes. Where are the thoughts coming from? Difficult to know. Somewhere. One moment there's no thought. Next moment there is a thought. And so I use the word arising because it's as good as anything else. So we're noticing thoughts arising and one of the things that they have a tendency to do is to through associations string together. And then at the end of this long chain of thought, we often end up somewhere where we spend a lot of time. So wherever thoughts are a lot of the time and that's where we end up going. So it can be seen here in your finger. I've got tomorrow, tomorrow I've got to see this person and he's going to say this and then this might happen. And then I'll have to go there and I speak to this other person and they're unlikeable.:
Speaker 1:
22:05
And then here we are there, right back dealing with that person. Yet again, I don't want to be there. They're a pain in the neck. The last time you had, you know, see what I'm am. Sometimes that can end up in worry, you know, we might end up thinking about our holiday or you might end up thinking about family. And so it's not always negative stuff, but it tends to be a well trodden path and it tends to be a pattern. Okay, so you've got this long process. So what we actually want to do is we want to spend some time exploring that, how thoughts arise. So has anybody ever seen a cat waiting outside a mouse hole you have? Yeah, they're pretty relaxed. They know the mouse is in there and then every so often they get up and they reached to the hole and they scratch away.:
Speaker 1:
22:57
I was, if I don't know where that comes from, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, kind of letting the mouse, no, you're here. I don't know what that maybe it was more likely to go in and make a run for it and then it just goes back to sitting there calmly and it, it, it doesn't take its eye off the whole, that's the only thing it doesn't do. It's always, so whatever it does, it moves over here. It moves over there. If the holes over there, the eyes stay on the hub. Yeah. And that's how we wait for thoughts in this meditation. So there's, there's two elements to it. So you notice that we were noticing the breath in the belly. And so this meditation, we can notice the breath in the belly or we can notice the breath in the nostrils. These are tend to be the best places. And so we're noticing the breath and what we're doing by noticing the breath is it's a reality check for the present moment.:
Speaker 2:
23:57
Yeah.:
Speaker 1:
23:57
While we're noticing the breath, we know where here. So for waiting for a thought, thoughts going to arise in the present moment while we're noticing the breath. We're nowhere here and when we're waiting for it, when it pops up, we can notice them. When we do notice a thought arise, we label it in our minds and the label we use is thinking, so you're noticing the breath, you're waiting for thoughts to arise. When the thought arises is saying your mind thinking and you come back to the breath, noticing the breath, you're waiting for another thought.:
Speaker 2:
24:42
Okay.:
Speaker 1:
24:43
Might be, might come along quickly. Some of us have a constant inner chatter, so you're doing this a lot. If you've got a constant in a chat and you coming back to the breath, there's another thought is saying, thinking back to the breath, thinking back to the breath thinking it doesn't matter because you can do that as long as you want. Yeah, that's, that's a process. That's a meditation known as labeling with thoughts. So we're sitting comfortably, we're noticing the breath, we're waiting for a thought to arise. When a thought arises, we label it thinking in our mind and then we bring our attention back to the breath and wait for the next thought. Okay. So a little word on posture to meditate, it's more useful to have your feet on the ground, your elbows by the side, and then what you're looking for is the place where your skull is most comfortably balanced on top of your spine. And so, you know what I do is, is I kind of move my scarf around and I'm looking for the spot where it's the most comfortable. So with my elbows at the side, what's happening is I'm not leaning forward, so I'm not using any of the muscles at the back and sides of the neck.:
Speaker 1:
26:00
And when my skull is balanced on top of the spine, it's the most comfortable place. There's no tension there either. So what I'm doing is removing a lot of the tension in my body just by sitting with my elbows at the side. Unless all balanced Hangi you can either close your eyes or look down past the tip of your nose with your eyes half shut and fix your eyes on some mark on the floor just so you don't get distracted by anything that's going on around you. And what I'll do is I'll begin and end the with a bell.:
Speaker 3:
26:50
Hello. Very good practical reasons. Why don't we begin by noticing the breath. So you can only ever notice the breath in the belly or if you place your tongue up against the back of the top teeth, unless you've got a cold, don't do that. If you're not cold, if you haven't taught it against the back of the top teeth, you know, tissue naturally breathe in and out through the nostrils. And then you can focus your attention on the nostrils. There's a bit of an advantage. So focusing on the nostrils, cause we're not able to notice the coolness of the in breath, which has got a lot of beneficial effects. So what we're doing is noticing the breath and the mind is reasonably calm for most of us are. It might be busy, it doesn't really matter.:
Speaker 2:
27:54
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
27:55
Um, why white? Same for the thought to our eyes. And when a thought arises we say in our mind thinking,:
Speaker 2:
28:05
okay,:
Speaker 3:
28:06
and then come back and notice the breath. So noticing the breath. Well, I'm waiting for a thought to our eyes. We're saying our mind thinking and we bring our attention back to the breath again. Notice the breath. Wait for thought, thought arises safe thinking in our mind. Back to the breath. Wait for the next thought. Let's repeat this. Practice it for the next few minutes is cold labeling the thoughts.:
Speaker 2:
31:44
Okay,:
Speaker 3:
32:01
I sold it in today's money straight into another meditation. These are all quite gen fold. So if you're relatively new, it be fine for you I believe. And in this meditation, what we're going to do is come back to the present moment and we're going to use labeling to return us to the present moment and become familiar with it. And that might sound strange, but you have to experience it to discover what benefits it has. Um, begin by noticing how it feels to be you right here, right now in the present moment. Notice how we sense the invisible force that connects us to the planet, the force of gravity. Notice it's pushing you down into the ground. It's pulling your shoulders down, his pushing your feet into the ground, pushing you down into the chair. And notice how your balancing, you've got your skull balanced on top of your spine. You've got your torso balanced on top of your pelvis and the sensation of weight and balance of the two senses that we use when we're interacting with gravity. And then there are a number of other senses, internal senses that we don't usually visit.:
Speaker 2:
33:44
Yeah,:
Speaker 3:
33:45
no ts if you're comfortable or uncomfortable. If you're uncomfortable, notice where the discomfort is. Also notice that there are other parts of your body that are comfortable. No to see if you're warm or cool. And again, if you'll call in part certain parts of the body. Notice that your warm and other parts of the body. Notice that you're tired or alert. No is if you're tense or relaxed.:
Speaker 2:
34:33
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
34:34
And if there's any tension, what do you do? Just gently place your tongue up against the sharp part of your teeth. Just saw you're in contact with the Tafe and you're breathing in. And when you breathe out, relax your face, your shoulders, your hands. I kind of little wave of relaxation. Breathing in normally breathing now town, the face, the shoulders and the hands. Letting in the tension out with the out breath and then there are the traditional senses. Notice what ever it is. You can smell. I missed what you can taste.:
Speaker 2:
35:33
Yeah,:
Speaker 3:
35:35
just I've everybody, she couldn't save him with the eyes closed.:
Speaker 2:
35:39
Okay.:
Speaker 3:
35:40
Sometimes we can see the light and dark and sometimes even movements as the blood flows through the veins and arteries, sometimes colors for some of us. Notice whatever it is we can hear.:
Speaker 2:
36:05
Okay,:
Speaker 3:
36:06
start with the furthest sound. So in here we can hear the traffic. So that means that that's the extent of our hearing, which is a few hundred yards in each direction, says the sound of traffic outside whose voices are movements in the building as movements in the room as the ticking of the clock. And it all adds up to one sound is the hubbub of the present moment and it's all around us. Just allowing all of these sounds to wash over us up. Taking my voice, tiny little wacko movements in the building and the room and the traffic I'm wearing at the center of all of this sound, allowing it to wash over us and notice whatever it is your hands are in contact with. You might have one hand in the Arthur or while they're in contact with a fabric of your clothing as the rest of them in your lap. And notice the sensation and the texture and the warmth or the coolness of whatever AI and is in contact with. And also notice how your hand feels. So sensing the hand, we can sense in two ways. We can sense whatever it says the hands in contact with.:
Speaker 2:
37:52
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
37:52
We're also able to sense how the hand feels itself and notice that the thoughts are arising, the inner voice and in a dialogue, a memory image is rehearsals, predictions, planning, worry, whatever it might happen to be false entry. Now, awareness subsiding, replaced with another thought. Notice whatever emotions there are, however it is you feel, whatever the backdrop of the day, his parole with. And then notice without opening your eyes where you are in the room. So you're aware of where the door is, where the windows are often weak in the sense the people around us. It's as if we know they're there. Even with the eyes closed and that awareness of the space that we're in, we're able to notice the space above us, the space below us, the spice to each side in the front and behind. So this is a sense too. It's called for stipular awareness. And notice where your body is. You know, we all see it on a chair. You know your feet are on the ground. If he were to lift your hand up in front of your face, you'd know when it was in front of your eyes. So this sense of where our body is is another separate sense. It's called proprioception.:
Speaker 2:
40:00
Okay?:
Speaker 3:
40:02
If we allow the mind to go free to choose wherever it wants to go in the present moment, it will move from one of these elements of our experience to another. It might notice what we can smell. It might notice how cool we are. Might notice where we are in the room. Might notice a thought, any discomfort. Well, I have a weekend enticed.:
Speaker 2:
40:39
Yeah.:
Speaker 3:
40:40
Whatever we can, whatever I hands in touch with whatever thoughts there are one of her emotions, they're all just let it go free and it will move from one to another. And what we do is whenever we notice and experience in the present moment, I label it. And bearing in mind you're the only person that hears the labels don't have to be very grammatically correct. So as I'm sitting here, I can label my experience breathing, sitting, listening, speaking, thinking, comfortable, laying, relaxing, emoting an emotion. Just call it and my team don't want to dig into it. We just want to notice, um, mind moves from one experience to another and then use a label. It doesn't matter how quickly it does it or how slowly it does that. It doesn't matter if it takes you a while, think of liable. You can't think of a label. Just move on to another experience on the label that,:
Speaker 2:
42:21
yeah.:
Speaker 3:
42:26
And try to nudge your mind along their feet. Get bogged down. If it's stuck with thought, right, stuck with sound or a stuck with an experience, discomfort or something like that, just nudge it along to another experience. Keep it moving. Comfort, tiredness,:
Speaker 2:
42:52
smell said, same last name.:
Speaker 3:
44:36
I'm not seeing what you can smell. I'm noticing the sensation of the breath rising and falling and they had just moved back to labeling the fault. Let's remember what we do is we're noticing the breath waiting for a thought to her eyes when a thought arises, we label it, but use the word thinking. Whenever a thought arises, thinking in our mind, come back and notice the price and then we were waiting patiently. Another thought to arise and how the thought arises could be a memory and the image, the inner voice, something about the future, a task, something that you remember. It doesn't matter what it is, whatever it is we say in our mind thinking, come back and notice the breath. Wait for another thought arises. Thinking back to the breath. Repeat. Practice this for a minute or two. Well, you blend the thoughts.:
Speaker 2:
47:16
Okay. [inaudible] 10:
Speaker 1:
48:18
sound again, noticing the sensation of the breath in the nostrils, wherever it is you can smell and taste and the sensation of sitting and in your very own time, whenever your ready:
Speaker 3:
48:41
gently return your attention to your surroundings.:
Speaker 1:
48:46
I've got another question for you. So there you go. You're noticing the breath and a thought pops up and then you label it thinking, where does it go?:
Speaker 1:
49:01
That's it. Nobody knows it's okay. In the same way, we don't know where they come from. When were you label them? We don't know where they go to, but we do know that they've gone, which is an interesting thing. The best answer I've heard about where they go is um, this young lady said back to where they came from and all like that one. So what we've then got is something that's useful. I imagine you're a worrier and you can sign up to your worry by labeling and you might go back and start again, but what you're doing is cutting it short and you can actually cut it short enough so that it doesn't start to make its own sense. Cause it, the worries got its own sense. It might not be a sensible worry. They say it's not a sensible worry. I'm worrying about something.:
Speaker 1:
50:04
That's chances of it happening is one in a billion. I don't know why I'm worrying about it. Here's the way to apply in your life because you can do it out of a meditation. And so what you've got is unhelpful thought patterns. So all worry is, is an unhelpful thought pattern. We've got all sorts of unhelpful thought patterns. One is rehearsing. I'm going to go into, I'm gonna meet this person, I'm going to say this. Then they're going to say that I want to say this. They didn't decide that. When has that ever happened? Just doesn't happen, doesn't it? When I, because I teach my mind just left to its own devices would spend a lot of time going through what I'm going to say when I teach and I've discovered that that's not only point, this, it's also unhelpful because when I teach it's better that I'm teaching whatever I can feel the connection.:
Speaker 1:
51:02
You're either connected or you're not. And so what I'll do is I might change what I teach and the way I teach it and what I say based on, you know, you're drifting off, sign it, bring you back with something or whatever it happens to be. And so I don't know what that's going to be. So me going over it in my head is a waste of time. So what I do, whenever I notice that happening, I use this, this word, it's important that you use a word that's either grammatically incorrect or is a nonsense word. I'll explain why in a minute. So the word that I use, if I find myself rehearsing, what I'm going to say when I teach is I say in my mind rehearsal. [inaudible] I'll come back to the breath now, noticing the breath and if the mind goes off on that one again, rehearsal Ising come back to the breath.:
Speaker 1:
52:02
If it's something that's happened in the past, one of the things you'll find the mind doing is running alternative scenarios. So you said, you said a, somebody else said B, what you'll do is you'll run it through your head. And what, what if I said, see what should I said? D I've said he was, you know, and you can go on like this for quite awhile and if it's something that actually you probably never going to see this person again in your life. So there's no point going over it and you want to squish that. So that's what I call reconstruction. And that's actually all of memory is reconstructed. But this is when we actually notice it's happening. We're reconstructing. And so I call that reconstruction Ising. So if somebody, somebody says something unhelpful and rude, for example, I'm now, you know, we're in a city of 8 million people, right?:
Speaker 1:
52:56
You get through the day without somebody saying unhelpful and rude. You're doing really well. So if you, if somebody said something unhelpful and rude and you're going to reconstruct it for you to spend your whole life going over what the last thing that somebody said is, which is a pointless exercise so you can squish it. The correct word is neutralize. We're not squish. Well I like, I prefer squish cause it's, it's given me a sense of self satisfaction when that happens. So somebody does or says something unhelpful, inconsiderate, thoughtless or rude or whatever it happens to be. And if your mind keeps being drawn back to it and you're thinking, well actually now I'm never going to see him again. I don't care. But you know, my emotional brain does. So it keeps going round and round and round you, you, you find a word for that and you squish that.:
Speaker 1:
53:51
Now the reason that we use words that aren't grammatically correct, let's use the example of worry, right? So if you're a worrier, you worry about worrying. If you're a worrier, you worry, you don't worry enough. You know? So worries. Got a big, it's a big deal in your life. So imagine if you were to use the word worry, worrying. Every time you notice yourself worrying, you start worrying about that. It makes you worry more. So instead what you want is a word that it doesn't describe the emotionally charged, unhelpful thought pattern. So a good word would be something like we're going to the muffin. So there I am going along my mind. I start worrying and I say [inaudible] and my mind and I come back and I notice the breath. I say there's two things happen there. One is we've squished the unhelpful thought pattern and the other is we've come back to the breath. So what is an unhelpful thing? The unhelpful thought patterns, unhelpful becomes helpful. So we don't mind if it pops up again because when it pops up, we notice when we notice, we label it, it gets squished, we feel better, and we come back here and this is where life happens. This is the neutral present moment that gets repeated throughout all of our life. And the more more we visited, the better.:
Speaker 1:
55:32
But baby steps with this one. So start with minor, unhelpful thought patterns. Things like rehearsing, reconstructing, judging, comparing. If you've got an inner critic, there'll be levels at which you'd beat yourself up and start with the lower ones. You know the kind of, you drop something on the floor and you curse yourself. Well, you know that process of I'm not good enough because I dropped something on the floor. Squish that one first before you move on to the, I am really the worst person in the world. I'm rubbish at everything you know that's going to be a tricky one to to work with. So instead do the baby steps first. And this practice is known as labeling the unhelpful thought patterns and go for your tie thought pattern arises. Nominate a name for it, label it, come back to the breath. It's however many times it pops up. You can label it, you can label it one more time than it will pop up. Okay? So hope that helps with worry. If you encounter it, you can use it for any, any other sort of unhelpful thought partner as well.:
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