Would it be possible to influence our mind state by paying attention to the signals of our body?
It is easier to recognize when our body is experiencing pain or pleasure. However, there are many other times where our body is signalling our brain. In catching this small signals, we could gain control over our mind state.
In order to do that, we would need to capture the very moment before the expression of our emotion. This would take a lot of practice, nevertheless, by paying enough attention to things such as our own heartbeat pace, muscle tension and voice tone, – just to mention a few – we can gain access to a new inner space. Reading your soul perhaps.
Entertaining this inner space would offer an opportunity to scan and pinpoint the very emotions and thoughts that would spark a shift in your mind state. Consequently, it offers us a space to control our actions and therefore decide how we want to respond to the event in front of us.
As a result, the responsibility to influence -or not- the mind state is completely yours. Like any new thing in life, it takes practice and bravery from your part to look inside your soul and notice. However, if a five years old can, so do we. Seligman’s daughter did just that at age five. She decided to stop being a whiner when she turned five. This is what she said to her dad: “that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And if I can stop whining you can stop being such a grouch “. Seligman, (2002, p.28)
Although this story involves a much more profound message for Seligman, I would like us to focus on what his five years old daughter did for herself. She noticed her whining long enough to decided that it was time to change it. Her behaviour changed as she took responsibility for her own mind state. Whatever the reason, it was strong enough for her to make the change.
If you knew you could influence your mind-set what would you change?
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