Archives for January, 2011
Our body’s response is an important component of an emotional reaction to any event. If you’ve ever been criticized in public and found your face heated and your heart pounding, you’ve experienced your body’s reaction to shame or humiliation.
When you mention mindfulness, many people immediately imagine Buddhist monks, sitting in the lotus position meditating. If you are unaware of how mindfulness can be incorporated into many aspects of life, it can seem impractical in the midst of the pressures, demands and hassles that most people encounter every day. However, practicing mindfulness-- defined by Jon Kabat-Zinn as the process of paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally-- can have a significant impact on our functioning. It can improve your ability to focus, as well as your ability to manage intense or painful emotions.
Emotions happen in an instant. Your supervisor shoots down an idea in front of your colleagues and you’re humiliated. You’re teenage son leaves his socks on the living room floor again and you’re angry. Your best single girlfriend tells you she’s getting married and you feel lonely, happy or rejected (or maybe all three). How you think about events that happen in your life, especially those stressful life events, can either help you get through tough times with an amount of equilibrium or it can derail you and end with your emotions in extremes.
The holidays, with their activity and distraction, have passed. For many American’s, this first week of January brings a renewed focus on work. If you’re one of the 76 percent of Americans who experience work as somewhat or very significantly stressful, then you may be returning to work with resolutions to improve some aspect of work that contributes to your stress. In an overview of the research on stress in this month’s Monitor on Psychology Rebecca Clay highlights advice on how organizations and individuals can reduce conflict and the often stressful consequences. Here are a few tips: