Letting in the Good.
When you attend a Mindfulness course you are likely to come across a discussion and practical activity called ‘Letting In The Good’.
Most usually associated with Dr. Rick Hanson www.rickhanson.net Dr Hanson talks about there being two types of memories; ‘Explicit ones,’ those associated with the recalling of actual events, and ‘Implicit ones,’ those associated with feelings, emotions and the ‘gut feelings’ you have.
For survival purposes we, as humans, have a bias towards negativity. Recalling bad experiences helps with our survival, we learn from them. If we have a scare crossing a busy road we are more likely to take care next time. If we get a shock when we touch an electric socket with a screwdriver, as my husband did as a child, we will remember the dangers of electricity!
Over the last couple of weeks, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I have been focusing on posting daily reminders, hints, tips and videos, to guide you to ‘Let in the Good.’ Why not visit those pages after you finish reading this and try some of the techniques? The links are at the end of this blog.
Dr. Hanson suggests that for positive experiences to register we have to hold them in our memories for 5 – 20 seconds and not just that, in order for positive experiences to affect us we need to hold them in our memories and focus on ‘how’ they make us feel.
You can do this now.
Read through the instructions below first, then think of someone or something that makes you feel good. Close your eyes are think about this memory or person.
Dr. Hanson talks about how recalling positive experiences can help us build in confidence. It can help us to have a more positive outlook and approach to life. We can become ‘glass half full’ rather than ‘glass half empty’ people.
Do you know anyone who is a ‘Negativity Vampire’, who is a drain on your energy when you are around them, who focuses on negatives all the time? You’ll know if you do, you may even dread being in their company. Perhaps you are aware that you can be quite negative yourself.
I try to distance myself from people I know who are like this. I ‘un-follow’ those who constantly make negative comments on Facebook and have deleted negative comments they’ve made on my feed. I feel no guilt in doing this. I don’t wish to be surrounded by negativity.
Recently, in my job for a local charity, I was asked by a colleague whether I ever got stressed as I’m always so positive. What a lovely comment!
I was able to say that, yes, I do get stressed , but I’m also able to recognise when I am feeling stressed and I have a tool kit of techniques to help myself when I am. I could have gone on to discuss the stress response and how it serves a useful purpose …
So what positives can we hold in our memories? It doesn’t have to be big things, it can be little moments. For example:
Why not make your own list?
So, next time you experience something good, don’t let the moment pass. Savour the experience. Notice what emotions it triggers and notice ‘where’ you feel this in your body. If you can do this for ‘5, 10, 20 seconds’ (R. Hanson) it will have a positive effect on you.
Next month I’ll be focusing on ‘Loving Kindness’. If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter do so now so you don’t miss out, using the ‘Contact Me’ form. February’s newsletter is due out on 1st Feb.
For more information why not book yourself on one of my Mindfulness workshops? Perhaps you’d like me to run one at your workplace?
Finally, as mentioned above, for bite sized reminders and activities take a look at my recent posts:
Until next time,
Each month, throughout 2017, I will be posting in more detail about the topic of the month. Let me know if there's anything specific you'd like me to discuss.