A Zen Philosopher Explains How to Rewire Your Brain to Cope With Negative Feelings

Everyone feels rushed and panicked at times, and that can result in feelings of negativity. So when we’re feeling overwhelmed, what can we do?

I came across advice in this article from a Zen philosopher that I think can help us all.

The practice is really simple and can benefit all of this.

Here it is:

  • Take a step back and notice when you feel rushed, overwhelmed or anxious. The sooner you develop an awareness of it, the more likely you’ll be able to stop it. Simply play a game and see how often you can catch it.
  • When you do catch yourself feel rushed, pause. Don’t let yourself continue with this habit of rushing and rushing. Instead, try rewiring your brain with a new habit. Simply pause, accept and relax with the feeling within your body. Then focus fully on the task in front of you. Enjoy even the mundane aspects of this task.
  • When you feel anxious, observe yourself and pause. Notice your reaction to it. If it’s a negative chain of reaction of continuing to worry, don’t let yourself waste time with that habit again. Instead, rewire your brain for a new mental pattern. Pause, accept and relax with the feeling that’s in your body. Then trust that you can handle whatever is put in front of you. Smile at the uncertainty.
  • When you are feeling overwhelmed, observe yourself and pause. Notice your habit of having do everything and feeling anxious about it. Try building a new habit: pausing, accepting and relaxing with the feeling within your body. Take one task at a time, and enjoy even the mundane aspects of it. Trust that you’ll be able to do everything that you do and even enjoy it.

As you can see, these practices are largely the same.

Don’t worry if you mess up, it’s bound to happen for all of us. But with enough practice, you’ll be able to develop new mental framework to deal with any confronting emotion you encounter.

And in the process, you’ll be encountering your feelings of negativity and living a more positive life. Also, if you’re looking to take that one extra step in your life, here are 5 mindful practices you might consider implementing into your life:

5 steps to practice mindfulness during the day

1. Imagine how young children and animals act in the world. They are curious about everything because it’ s their first time witnessing the wonders of the universe. Try to adopt this attitude!

2. Practice yoga. Yoga can be a great to way to connect with your breathe and your body.

3. Eat mindfully. Eating is the best time to practice mindfulness because so much is going on in your body and mouth. Really observe how the food feels when you eat it.

4. Take a mindful shower. This is a routine task that fits perfectly with mindfulness. Use all your senses to be awed by the wonder and beauty of water hitting your skin!

5. Practice mindful listening. Just listen, without judgment and without preparing or thinking about your response or opinion. Instead, just listen and allow the person space to express their ideas and feelings.