22 Oct One way to calm an anxious mind: Notice when you’re doing OK
via TED Ideas by Rick Hanson and Matthew McKay and Martha Davis and Elizabeth Robbins Eshelman
To keep our ancestors alive, our brains evolved an ongoing internal trickle of unease. It’s the little whisper of worry that keeps you scanning your inner and outer worlds for signs of trouble.
This background of unsettledness and watchfulness is so automatic to most people that we can forget it’s there.
See if you can tune in to a tension, guarding or bracing in your body. It could also be a vigilance about your environment or other people. Or a block against completely relaxing, letting your guard down or letting go.
While the brain’s default setting of apprehensiveness is a great way to keep a monkey aware of predators, it’s a crummy way for humans to live.
It wears down our well-being, feeds anxiety and depression and makes us turn away from the things that matter to us. And it’s based on a lie.
In effect, that uneasiness in the background is continually whispering in your mental ear: “You’re not safe, you’re surrounded by threats, you can never afford to lower your guard.”
But take a close look at this moment, right now — probably, you are basically all right. No one is attacking you, you are not sick, there is no crisis where you sit.
Things may be far from perfect, but you’re OK.
By “right now,” I mean this moment. When our mind goes into the future, we worry and plan. When our mind goes into the past, we resent and regret. Threads of fear are woven into the mental tapestries of past and future.
Look again at this thin slice of time that is the present. In this moment, are you basically OK? Are you breathing? Is your heart beating? Is your mind working?
… keep reading the full & original article HERE
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