More than just mindfulness

What to do when nothing else works

December 08, 2018 Season 1 Episode 16
More than just mindfulness
What to do when nothing else works
Chapters
More than just mindfulness
What to do when nothing else works
Dec 08, 2018 Season 1 Episode 16
Robert Mitchell
What do we do when our emotions and behaviour are motivating us in an unhelpful way?
Show Notes Transcript

This week at The Mansion, a student asked: "What to do when nothing else works?"
At some point in our modern lives, we will either feel overwhelmed or close to it. We feel our emotions and mood driving us in a way that is clearly unhelpful for our happiness or the happiness of those we care about. this can be anything from uncontrolled angry responses to depressed mood, anxiety, unhelpful or inappropriate behaviour or whatever response that we engage in when it all gets too much.
Motivation is a combination of beliefs, emotions, habits and external factors. Our behaviour or emotion takes over. It is not possible to work with this effectively when we are are in such a high stress situation.
Robert explains the practices for responding to this along with the reasons that living in the modern world make us all liable to overwhelm.

Speaker 1:
0:02
Good question, what to do if nothing else seems to work. There's something that we need to realize, which is the one level nothing ever will work. Okay. And the level that we're at, which nothing ever will work is the suffering that we experience because of our genetic design being so different to our environment and our lives and how we interact with people that need spline saw at genetic design is to live in a small group, deeply connected group in nature and our lives, I'll tell live in big anonymous cities that are an artificial world. And so there will always be stress. I'll explain to you how you can separate the stress from not living in an environment, you know, designed for from the stress of all of the other things that are happening. So there's relationships, stress, there's career stress, there's money, stress, there's all sorts of stress underlying it where it disconnected, right?:
Speaker 1:
1:27
And even saw, I'm probably one of the most connected people I know and I'm still disconnected. So there's two sorts of disconnection that I referred to when I talk about the difference between a day to day stresses. And how now almost natural stress. It's the stress of a rat in a cage, right? It's still a ride. Even if you put it in the cage with its family and it's happening doing wrap things, it's going to be more stressful than a wrap. It's living in the field. Yeah. So one white, to detect how much stress you're experiencing, the is from me or artificial world is to get out the artificial world and notice what happens. And the way to do that is to go for a walk in nature. Doesn't matter about the weather.:
Speaker 1:
2:32
So if you're stressed, drops a bit. That's because of contributory element of your stress is disconnection from your environment, from nature first thing. The second thing is to then get together with somebody with whom you share energy. Okay? Now that sounds hippy dippy, but it's very, very simple. I notice depletion of three sorts of energy in my life. One is physical energy, and we know when we're kind of just tone of the energy, it's a physical thing. You know, there's physical energy and that's all sorts of things that diet, sedentary lifestyle, that's all. All those kinds of stuff. There's emotional energy and your mood is an indicator of Europe. That's what mood is. It's telling you where you are on the emotional energy scale, on the emotional energy scale. Good mode. Allow on the energy scale. Five mines, simple as that. It's also I an indicates for physical energy. So for example, you know, you can be right at the center of a loving group, but if you're ill enough it will, you'll mood will diminish. But notice of those two things, the things that elevate Sam mood the most is sharing emotional energy with somebody else. So you're connecting with another person. So those are the two things to do, to discover what the source of your suffering is. And what you're able to do then is to take them out the equation. And then how do you feel?:
Speaker 1:
4:26
So going for a walk in the park with a good friend, somebody you can talk to about how you feel kills two birds with one stone. It's the most, uh, so when people are asked to write down leisure activities in the United Kingdom as part, you know, census or whatever it happens to be, 8 million of us do country walks. Very good reason for that. Most people that do country walks, do country walks with somebody cause we're doing what we're designed to do, be in nature with people that were close to as say, if you don't have anybody that you can share, then join a ramblers association and walking clubs or go along to some club that does walk or just do the warps and then connect to people. And that is the foundation of our unsatisfactoriness because it's always there. Because when you do meet somebody that you can connect with emotionally, when you come away from them, you're back into the disconnected world.:
Speaker 1:
5:37
If you do go and walk in nature, when you get out of nature and you come back into the city, you're back in the disconnected. Well there's no alternative that's never going to go away. Sorry, stress, actual physiological stress. Tension never goes away. It arises and subsides. So sometimes it will be high. Sometimes it will be alone. So these two sorts of energy, physical energy and emotional energy, physical energy, look after yourself and the whole bundle of ways you can do that. And, and you know the Internet is replete with waste to look after yourself and the solution to that is trial and error and don't skip anything because it sounds hippy dippy. Try everything. Yeah. Because the, the idea of that is to contribute to your wellbeing and your wellbeing is not just a psychological or a physical process. Yeah, it's both of them.:
Speaker 1:
6:45
The mind and the body are one by all. All one culture is built around the car. Tz and concept of mind, body dualism. The mind is somehow separate from the body and that's become embedded and it's really unhelpful. And then there's a thing called I call spiritual energy and what spiritual energy is his will, what will is, is that you are able to change the world in some way. First of all, change yourself and then change to actually there's a sign thing. So when Gandhi said, be the change you want to see in the world, what he meant was be the change you want to see in the world. By changing yourself, you change everybody that you come in contact with.:
Speaker 1:
7:46
Let me give you an example. Let's say I became resentful solen and angry and I the kind of hostile person, I'm going to change everybody I encounter, you know, they might hate me. They might think, oh that's great. You know I've got another hostile might and we can be hostile together and have a little gang of resentful solen hostile people and you see this everywhere. What they're doing is they're expressing their unsatisfactoriness like that. So I became like that. Look how it change people's lives. I'd push in front of people again on on the bus, I'd scowl at the bus driver. I'm going to have effects everywhere I go because that affects is obvious. We tend to perceive the world as a hostile place because it's visible. If I am calm and relaxed and happy, let's say I get off of a community to try and cause I don't commute a lot now. So to me communities are fast and fun experience all I will be smiling and of course all the commute is looking at me thinking what's, who's that idiot?:
Speaker 1:
9:04
Well I'm doing is dispensing some calmness and relaxation where I go. So I'm changing the world because of how I am. That's all we need to do. Don't need to do anything else. So that capacity to change the world, that's what I call spiritual energy. So I'm not talking about the eternal spirit and reincarnation. We use the word in that context. Older time. So if arsenal happened to win the occasional match really well, I believe they beat Tottenham or solid read on the back of a newspaper the other day in a four, three aggressive north London Darby, which is fun. Do you would say that was a spirited performance. So we know what spirit is, we know it's that thing that changes the world. So we're however some player played on that day at changed the world for all of the Arsenal supporters for a week. So they go around with a smile on their face, see how it happens, and there's nothing to be done with all of these other than to notice what's going on and learn. So if you're feeling rubbish when you've gone out into nature and connected with nature and all connection with nature consists of is being in it and allowing yourself to experience it and you spent some time with somebody who's shares their emotions and you share your emotions to them and you, you come away feeling better. If you've done that, if there's still some other stuff, then you know that's a thing that's happening in life.:
Speaker 1:
10:53
What happens is, is this social fragmentation. Now, social fragmentation is when you know you, you lose friends, they move away, you lose family, they move away. Then when I know some people where their families are distributed all over the world, so one, one child was gone, the United States and another child has gone Australia and they don't really work hard. We'll get together at Christmas to that person there was bereft. The reality is that what you need to look for is emotional connection. It needs to be able to replace it. So there aren't many longitudinal studies of any note into the nature of being human in the 20th century. But one of them's called the grant study and this has been run by Harvard University. He since 1930 they introduced a group of boys and then sort of 20 years later they introduced a group of girls, Harvard's in Boston.:
Speaker 1:
11:51
So it's both very, very puff and it's also very, very pull. They seem to Kate the dice and close to their chest, which is a great source of disappointment for me. Thoughts I'm possibly, you know, if you work in psychology and a university you might have access to it. To My, to my knowledge, it hasn't been made publicly available. Uh, but the the guy that's in the current generation of researchers and many generations of researchers has written a book. Hey, I did its head till and he explained the wellbeing and happiness in your, its the biggest single correlate is your capacity to reconnect with people in your sixties when you retire.:
Speaker 1:
12:46
The why you took connect is to live on the edge of your comfort zone with your social interactions. Because if you don't live on the edge of your comfort zone, your comfort zone shrinks because you have to continually step into more comfort to get away from what you find uncomfortable. So what's how I teach is one thing. It's the tools to enable us to cope with the rough edges of interactions with other people who were also suffering to recognize our suffering in them and they're suffering in us. That's identification. When you identify, you become connected. This is what today's session is going to be, how to live on the edge of our comfort zone with our interactions. There's tools to elevate your mode. There's tools to neutralize uncomfortable emotions. There's tools to neutralize unhelpful thought patterns. There's tools to notice when we're responding to our experience in an unhelpful way, when we're responding to our minds in an unhelpful way, when we're responding to uh, our emotions in an unhelpful way.:
Speaker 1:
14:19
And the thing is, it's an uncomfortable journey because it's the journey of living on the edge of our comfort zone and then getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. The only way to get uncomfortable, comfortable with the uncomfortable is to, to do it often, often enough. And then your, your body and your mind knows which practices to initiate in any given situation. Cause at first you have to think it, you know, so I'm going to try this practice, I'm going to try that practice. But being in the edge of your comfort zone and having access in your memory to all of these practices, you'll find the one that works for you. Yeah. Most important, most useful thing for a human being is the breath. It's the coolness of the in breath in the nostrils. People say if you're feeling stressed or anxious or angry, especially anger. The second take a few deep breaths. You know, we kind of know that what the mistake we make, to an extent it's correct, but the mistake, we made a common sense level as we think it's about filling our lungs were there. Whereas actually what it's about is filling our nostrils with coolness.:
Speaker 1:
15:55
That's the thing to notice:
Speaker 1:
15:58
and then once you're there, the thing to do then is to relax and the places to relax, the eyes, the jaw, the shoulders, and the hands because that's where the stress lives. So this is why I called the relaxation response and this is how I respond to, for example, when I feel my outrage arising, it's literally I don't need to relax. That's enough. By the time I start breathing out and relaxing, it stopped it. What's happened is I've replaced my emotional response with a breath. If I had this tight muse, and this is, it's got a name, it's called returning to the breath south. I think the thing to do is to practice this as a now to help you practice your own, his jaw, relaxing your eyes, jaw, shoulders and hands. You need a cup of physiological tricks. Is he a logical trip? Number one, it doesn't necessarily work when you wake up in the middle of the night, but at any other time. Not reason it doesn't work then is is because a lot of, a lot of your physiology is offline. When you wake up first, wake up, most of the rest of the time it works,:
Speaker 1:
17:21
and this is a place your tongue against the sharp part of the team. Just being in contact with the sharp part of the teeth, relaxing the jaw, relaxing the jaw, relaxes the eyes. It's an exercise for you to do to notice that happening. Connect with the experience. So what you do is you, you, you take a ton out from between your teeth and then you call the the t and what you're doing is you're tuning into the tension here in the jaw, especially at the science of the Phif, just kind of below and in front of the heirs.:
Speaker 1:
18:08
I want you to do. And if you're noticing when you put your tongue between you and tell you the joy was just a tiny, it's a tiny thing. But if there's a lot of tension in your jaw, you notice it. Physiological trait number one, physiological trait number two, elbows by the side. It doesn't matter if you're in bed, you're standing up, you're sitting down, just doing that one thing, elbows by your side, and then what's happening is your, your arms are hanging down by your side. So if you want to see how, what a useful posture is, look at primitive people. Primitive people walk around with the bum sticking out on their belly, sticking out. So it's the opposite of the look we want to achieve in the 21st century.:
Speaker 1:
19:12
But when you do that, whether you're sitting down or standing up with the above, sticking out, what happens is your legs become more comfortable when you're standing out. I then all these together, feet in front, it's a kind of a little bit of a wobble. It, there's a tiny, just like a toddler as a, as that waddle. So elbows by the side, just that. And then you can find a comfortable place for your head. You'll Skoll is as comfortable as it can possibly be on top of your spine. If you're lying down, might show that you've got adequate support and comfort for your head.:
Speaker 1:
19:57
And then when you're breathing, you'll notice saying your arms, pulling your shoulders down at the side. And this is another thing to notice. Just notice it and you're dying and assign why you notice what happens with the tongue up against the sharp. Paula would say they're also noticing what happens when you adjust your posture. And then the final thing is, is the Chin Llodra. So what the Chin, the chin, not sure what that means, but Moodra is, is a hand sign. And this is the archetype or yoga pose. Yoga, meditative yoga mandates. Heights is usually do the Chin Montreal. And the way that this works is you're your thumb and forefinger is as gently and contacts as it possibly:
Speaker 2:
20:48
can be. The more gentle the contacts and the more relaxed your hands become. It's a while relaxing your hand because we don't know how to relax now. Huh? You just got this:
Speaker 1:
21:05
tiny, it's you. You, you wouldn't, you'd almost get a cigarette pipe up between:
Speaker 2:
21:11
the thumb and the forefinger. Just a touch, lightest possible touch, parallax the hands become, and then you stopped doing it. And you know, it's the, the, the tension comes back in and a hand and then you make that tiny little touch. Yeah. So if you let go, you flex your hands, you might squeeze in a Kotlin times like that, you're back to normal tension and then you might not just that tiny little touch. Yeah. Okay.:
Speaker 1:
21:46
It:
Speaker 2:
21:47
takes a while. So get the physical feedback from your body to tell you whether you're relaxed or not. Okay. Okay. Okay. The reason I'm teaching this is to teach you how to relax on the outbreath. Yeah. And what you're doing when you breathe in,:
Speaker 1:
22:14
normally we breathe into the chest, right. For this, you don't, you breathe into the top of your head,:
Speaker 2:
22:21
right. How's your eyes breathe in to the top of your head? And then when you breathe out the breaths, moving from the top of your head down posture, eyes and jaw, shoulders and down through your feet. And until the floor. Try that two or three times. Breathing in through the nostrils, only focusing on the coolness, filling the top of the head with there, and then not moves down like a wave down into the floor, down your installing potty. Do that sort of two or three times. Okay? So here's another thing that we can do. The hands,:
Speaker 1:
23:29
all the most sensitive part of the body. Higher density of nerve cells than anywhere else.:
Speaker 2:
23:35
Okay?:
Speaker 1:
23:35
So when you place your palms together, what you're doing is connecting lots and lots of nerve cells and you're bringing a big part of your Brian on the line, okay?:
Speaker 1:
23:45
To translate the sensory information. So you're I in your Brian in a big way. Now what you do is when you breathe in, okay, you breathe in through your hands and into your chest, and then breathe out from the chest down through the body and answer the ground again. So that's a cycle. Breathing in through the hands moves up the arms, through the shoulders, into the chest, and then when you breathe out, you breathe down belly, pelvis through the legs, through your feet and into the ground. If you're a visual person, you can visualize this white lights or golden lights. If you're not a visual person, it's a sensory experience. You're connecting with a physiological processes that go on,:
Speaker 3:
25:01
okay?:
Speaker 1:
25:11
Cleansing the body's energy and what you do, do that for a few breaths. And when you take your hands apart, don't just move them apart. What you do is breathe in and as you breathe out, move your fingers down and your hands down very, very slowly. And so just the fingertips or in concept. And then place your hands on your knees, you in. And as you breathe out, move your hands down. Just the fingertips are in contact and he let him go. Note saying, yeah, energy moving. And then go back to the brand. Breathing in to the top of the head, breathing out through the body.:
Speaker 1:
26:20
Okay. And you know very on time, turn your attention to the room. Most people feel quite relaxed after this. If you're stressed and sleep deprived, this, we'll send you off sleep. And if you're just going through it, it will help to reconnect you. You're reconnecting to your physiology. Next thing of the physiology is essential to connect to other people. When I'm interacting with anyone, La, I'm interacting with you guys. Now I get a sensory response to everything. Your body language, your way you're looking is sending me a message and that message is a feeling and that's how we're designed to interact. That's what connection is. And we know that, that we know the mechanism, we understand the mechanism until become more empathic. What you need to do is to connect with your own body. So connecting with your own emotions and physical sensations and enables you to connect to other people's emotions and physical sensations. And you'll also notice when people disconnect from you and you feel discomfort and you need to get comfortable with that discomfort or you fail. You'll notice when people reject you. So does these two things. Disconnection like Collin l disconnecting now live in a disconnected world. They're just going to go. They just go around and disconnects connecting all the time. Avoiding connection. That's okay. And the reason they do that is because they experienced disconnection and they experienced rejection. And the emotional brain translates disconnection as rejection.:
Speaker 1:
28:19
My most difficult training sessions all with people who might be ideologically opposed to everything that I say. I enjoy those we connect. The most difficult training sessions that I have is with people who disconnect actually actively poker face, no response. My heart rate goes through the roof and so what's happening there is is that my emotional brain is perceiving that to be rejection and it's doing its thing. I need to do more of those. Those are the key techniques. The first one, the cool inbreath and the relaxing out breath, so breathe in to the top of your head. You notice here the top of the nose is particularly sensitive to cooler almost to being to the point of being painful. It's sharp, the in breath is sharp, that sharp. This is good. That's presence. You'll hear you're back in the present moment and then the relaxing outbreath first using the or physiological treks, but once you've relaxed your eyes, you've relaxed your jaw, you've relaxed your hands a thousand times.:
Speaker 1:
29:48
I think you probably need to do it. I have between the thousand and 10,000 times you've done it 10,000 times. It's part of you. If you do it a thousand times, you're getting on to making it an intuitive response to your experience and your intervening and all your emotional responses and it clears you out. He repeats it over and over and then when you get a why get out of the environment, because it's very difficult to do the Angela Lima drunk in public because you're going to feel self conscious and the people around you are going to get all wobbly about it.:
Speaker 1:
30:38
So you find yourself a quiet corner. If this works for you and you get that energy circulate in backing your body, reconnect to the body, reconnects here environment, you do that and you all you will back in. Where human beings are designed to be this connection to the body in a lot of why's. It combines the connection to the environment and the in connection to other people cause we connect room or we'll connect to other people through the body. The more connected we get to the body, the more we feel connected to other people. Me. So that's the tricky and this is, there you are, you're having these interactions and that's difficult. The next most useful thing is relaxation. So for people with bad backs and so on, osteoarthritis and stuff like that. So osteoarthritis, his research, I think it is in the UK, did an analysis of holistic therapies in the area of osteoarthritis. Um, and me, I think it won't, they'll fall. FIBROMYALGIA, rheumatoid arthritis and, and one other one. And so they look to all of the research in these areas, all to do with arthritis and similar sort of illnesses. And I looked at all the research from all of the holistic practices and the most consistent one that scored highly, there were only about three or four that scored highly. I think number two was acupuncture. It doesn't necessarily work for everybody, but the one that actually had a high score in three of those four categories was relaxation.:
Speaker 1:
32:40
Meditation:
Speaker 2:
32:40
doesn't come into it though. The relaxation practices that I teach the buddies either in stress mode or it's relaxation mode. So when you learn to relax, you'll learning to switch on, switch off your stress. After you've done it a thousand times, you're beginning to learn to relax. After you've done it 10,000 times, you can, it's like a switch. This is what I call the four tens meditation. It's a mindfulness meditation. The reason it's a mindfulness meditation is it's focused attention. You're focusing attention on your body. When your mind wanders, you notice and you bring your attention back to the body. Second is, it's a relaxation technique. You're learning to relax your body. Third is you're connecting with your body. You're learning to interpret the physiological feedback, which doesn't just tell you whether you'll tense or relaxed. It tells you whether you're comfortable or uncomfortable. Cool or warm, stressed, well, not tired or not. We want to know, because if we don't know, then we don't know what to do. And we also don't know what works and what doesn't.:
Speaker 2:
34:14
So just this process of that water cooler for tens, which is four sets of 10 outbreaks, and we're relaxing in different parts of the body and then it's huge for sleep. It's just massive. This seems to work when nothing else is gonna get you back to sleep. For it to work really usefully, I reckon you have to do it thousand times, probably something whatnot. Anyway, yeah. Again, we want the useful posture. So comfort first, then strike back, come first, then elbows by the side. And what we're going to do is relax the eyes on 10 out breath. Now relax the jaw on 10 out breath. Relax the shoulders on 10 press. Relax the hands on 10 Algebra.:
Speaker 2:
35:17
I'll teach this from the perspective of somebody that doesn't have chronic time. So you're noticing the breath. That's the first thing you're aware of it. Because what we're going to do is relax on the outbreak. Because of the, the way that the breath and the body works, the body is relaxing. Every time there's an outbreak, you're better off with the tongue up against the back of the top teeth. So it's in contact with the sharp part of the bottom. T yeah, I'm noticing the breath in the nostrils, especially the sharpness of the umbrella coolness of the umbrella.:
Speaker 2:
36:13
You know, it's in the breath rising. Noticing the breath rolling. Okay. And your skull is as comfortably balanced on top of your spine as it can be on the point of maximum. Come from please go. And then what we do is we relax the eyes on 10 consecutive outbreaks. Noticing the coolness of the in breath on the umbrella, noticing the sensation of the tongue against the sharp part of the tea. Jen, they slowly breathing out, relaxing the eyes on the outbreak and we count me out price. Okay, so we're using the mind as well. So it's quite a lot going on here. Cool. Inbreath tongue against the sharp part of the you relaxing the allies. Slightly extended out breath and my counseling one right or up to 10 because everybody will be breathing at different speeds. I'll just choose the likely time or the end of 10 outro and then we move on to relax in the jaw. Quickly check in with your posture. No, it's if you have posture has gone a wife, I'm accountable situation. And then how buys by the side? 10 relaxing out breaths. Relaxing the jaw. It's hung in contact with the shop. I'll take notes in the coolness of the umbrella and the relaxation of the outbreak. Breathing out. Focused on relaxing the jaw. Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
38:45
Yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Okay.:
Speaker 4:
38:53
Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
39:00
Okay. When you moved from one the party, what you do is breathe in and then as you breathe out, you relax the other parts so you're breathing out, relaxing the shoulders. Shoulders are relatively easy to relax. Most of us know how to do that. If you begin adults in the Chin murder now you can hold it throughout the entire practice. All that is is a very, very light touch between the thumb and forefinger and you'll let him the tightness, how your shoulders on successive outbreaks. Yeah.:
Speaker 2:
40:02
What's the mind of a wonders during this? You either come back to where you were and if you can't remember, let's say you're doing this at home. You can't remember what they were on your shoulders or your hands or your jaw. Just start with the eyes again because what we do is we repeat this and so what happened? How many times we did it? More and more we did it better as explained. Okay. And off to 10 out breaths in the shoulders. Breathing in, breathing out, relaxing the hands. It's a relaxed, the hands why to do it is to make the chin the as lighter contact between the thumb and finger as we can. Okay. And where? Relaxing on the out breath. Just letting the time, the sale of the high end, like in the contact between thumb and forefinger as light as possible.:
Speaker 4:
41:11
Okay.:
Speaker 2:
41:20
Okay. Okay. Okay. And then in your very, very, very on time when ever you're ready. Okay. Are you the man not assessing the coolness? No. It's in what you can smell on the umbra and then relaxing on the out breath. Very on time. David, your ascension to the room. Yeah.:
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