There is a Buddhist proverb that says: The best way to manage the mind is to let thoughts flow through you like water. This is easier said than done, particularly after experiencing abrasive dialogue.
In this respect, the same element that makes us so successful as a species works against us. We remember things
For most of us, thoughts do not rush away with the passing moment. We can, however, develop tools to send away those thoughts and feelings that may not be too useful to us.
“But I already tried putting it out of my mind,” you say. “It just keeps coming back.” Yes, it is not easy to will away stress. No matter how many times you listen to that DVD and repeat the affirmations of being calm, it does not seem to stick. The other voice in your head keeps on saying, “That is just a DVD – the cause of my worry is real.”
The solution: Use the abilities of your mind, in the correct way.
Cognitive thinking is very effective, but it is pretty far removed from the lower levels of thinking that influence our physiology. The stress response is largely governed by lower levels of thinking. For many of us, these lower level modes of thought are autonomous and intangible.
There are, however, many ways of influencing and controlling these lower level modes of thought. The exciting thing is, you don’t have to be a Mind Master or Guru to do it.
In our first article, we taught you a breathing skill that will quickly change your mental state to one of calm. Breathing is a very powerful skill for letting go of thought patterns that are not helpful. With continued practice, this skill becomes so effective that it will quickly dispel even the most tenacious worry.
So how will this help me to deal with the guy fidgeting around my workspace, or the woman with the incessant mildly cynical comments? You may not be able to get rid of the people… but you most certainly can let go of what they have just dumped on you.
The next time someone unloads on you, or the accumulated tension of the situation wears you down, try combining the breathing skill with a new technique: