This video shows the 8-point process we have developed to use mindfulness as a skill – that is, employing the act of observing your thoughts and emotions in specific situations in order to experience your emotions more freely and be more effective in handling everyday challenges.
The process begins, as does traditional mindfulness meditation, with the act of observing your thoughts or emotions. As you continue to observe your emotions, these are the 8 guideposts you can use to make your experience less stressful and your responses more effective:
1. Curiosity – as you observe your emotion, you may find it curious that you are experiencing this emotion.
2. Humor – as you continue to observe your emotions, you may find them slightly humorous, as in the category of human foibles.
3. Acceptance – as you continue to observe your emotions, you can accept that you are having them, and accept the fact that you are a human being who occasionally experiences normal human emotions.
4. Lessening of the intensity of the emotion – as you continue to observe yourself having this emotion, having found it curious or humorous and accepting that you can occasionally experience this emotion, you will also observe that it is diminishing in intensity.
5. Compassion for yourself – as you continue to observe your emotions, having accepted them, you can have compassion for yourself, that is you can love yourself as someone who has these emotions, and may be experiencing them now.
6. Understanding – as you continue to observe yourself experiencing a diminished form of this emotion, you may flash on an understanding of where this habitual response came from – or you may not, but you can still understand that you can observe yourself understanding that you are a person who has normal emotions.
7. Able to move forward – as you continue to observe yourself experiencing this emotion you can feel the freedom that comes from accepting the emotion and find yourself able to move forward with the task at hand – in a more effective and relaxed way than you have been able to do previously.
8. Arbitrary nature of emotions – as you continue to observe yourself experiencing this emotion, and accepting yourself you will grow in your understanding that emotions are by their very nature a choice – that we have learned most of our emotional responses through habit and repetition and learning and that, as we learn to not be controlled or overwhelmed by them that we can literally shift them, and create them into emotions that enable us to get the things we want to have, do and be. This is also a cumulative benefit, for as you continue to practice this skill, you will find over time that you can begin to choose the kind of emotions you want to have before you even begin a project or interaction.
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