Thursday, 11 August 2011

countdown 12: 90-second rule

I'm loving my magazine subscriptions on my iPad. They keep me company during waiting times such as this morning when I had my pre-employment examination. They give me new ideas and bits of wisdom and some common sense.

Of all my subscriptions, i love O, The Oprah Magazine best. Martha Beck's column in the September issue is very applicable to what I'm going through these days. It's all about adopting stubborn gladness despite of life being hard and scary.

What I would like to share is this approach to emotional suffering using the 90-second rule by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. It advocates that it takes only 90 seconds of feeling the emotion caused by negative event before the body finishes processing its stress hormones and returns to its baseline settings.

Any stress beyond one minute and a half is already the result of us (our minds) holding on to the negative emotion and willing ourselves to rethink and restimulate the stress and distress. This means we really have control over our reactions to the things happening to us.

Martha Becks suggests

The next time you feel overwhelmed by a terrible situation, check your watch and dive in for 90 seconds. Don't think, just feel. Cry. Rant. Scream into a pillow. Let go and be non-resistant. If you don't hold the sadness in your mind with obsessive thinking, it will be over very soon - at which point, you can focus again on bright points.

So let's not hold on to bitterness, sadness, misery and other negative emotions. After 90 seconds of crying our hearts out, let us move on. Let each of us be a walking ray of light in this sometimes bleak world.

Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain. - Vivian Greene

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