Friday, October 16, 2015

Brilliant breakdown of emotions...

OMG OMG OMG!!! I'm sure this is getting like a broken record but today's Mindfulness Summit speaker was SO GOOD!!! Funny because when he started I thought 'I can't be bothered' and I fell asleep after 10 minutes and almost didn't resume this morning but THANK FUCK I DID because he has given me the BEST breakdown of emotions EVER!!

And this has always been a major for me since I got sober, I am very interested in emotions, how to deal with them, how they work, why they're there etc etc. This dude gives such a brillliant break down of all of that.

His name is Paul Gilbert and hes a clinical psychologist from the UK, has written books and runs an organisation committed to helping people develop compassionate mindfulness to help them deal with emotions (their website is here).

The video wasn't an interview with Melli (summit organiser) but was a presentation from him, like yesterday's one, split screen with him on one side talking to the compter (us) and his slides on the other side. So it was a presentation!

I took notes and will try to break down some of what he said but it won't do justice to the presentation. Far out, I want to read his book!

Ok.. his first big point was that we didn't choose the minds we got, we didn't choose our genes or our circumstances.. all of that has shaped our minds - not us - and we must remember that. He said 'It's not your fault' and it sounded so lovely. 

He also made the point that humans are undoubtedly the most cruel animals on the planet-not just to others but to ourselves. We can talk to ourselves internally in the most cruel ways. Again this is not our fault.. It's because of how our brains are wired and what we are conditioned to focus on. 

He said there are three types of emotion regulation.
1) The 'Survival System'. Those emotions that focus on threat and self-protection (anger, anxiety, disgust). These emotions are the most powerful because for survival we can't afford to miss these. These ones will dominate. If we have a day of lovely experiences and one that wasn't, it will be the non-lovely experience we will ruminate on because that's how our brains are wired.
2) The 'Drive System' that focus on doing and achieving. Dopamine! This system doesn't have limits, left unregulated it causes problems (hello addiction!) we want more and more. It's about drive, excitement, and vitality. This emotion system has us wanting more-money, possessions, fame, success.
3) The 'Soothing System'. Contentment, safety, connection. Feeling safe is not just about the absence of threat, it is a specific system in the brain that gives us the capacity to feel safe and connected. It is all about our relationship with others and ourselves. 

Meditation is familiarisation with our brains. The more we become familiar with our brains the more we can accept without judgement. Meditation/mindfulness offers insight - but what are we getting insight into? Our own minds but also natures mind - the mind we were given. We can observe without owning. 

And the more we can see the range of potential versions of ourselves the easier we can choose the more compassionate ones. Mindfulness helps us to recognise the ruminating (the survival system that dominates) and helps us to choose to switch focus. We can shape our brains! Caring behaviour affects everything. Relationships (including the one with ourselves) are physiological regulators. Humans function best when they are loving and caring, when they feel loved and valued. Mindfulness builds this loving relationship with the self. 

OMG loved this dude. Loving the summit! It just keeps getting better! Righto, off to spend a day allowing my soothing system to dominate.

Love, Mrs D xxx

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