Learning to be mindful of our present moment and our triggers can allow us to purposefully pay attention and become more aware of our surroundings, our emotions, our thoughts, and how our body feels
As we practice mindfulness, we can choose to focus and pay close attention to that “one thing” without judgment. This enables us not to dwell or get stuck in repetitive negative thoughts and feelings about a situation. It can also help us to return to a place of calm more quickly. By being mindful, we are training ourselves to be more in control of our emotions. We are also able to avoid becoming lost in regrets from the past, present triggers we are facing, or worries about the future.
Napolitano and Pesut (2015) also recommended other suggestions to help us turn a negative into a positive:
- Create a “pause” in our thinking when we encounter a trigger. Remember to breathe. It can keep us from responding emotionally.
- Have a sense of humor when recognizing or acknowledging a mistake.
- Be willing to comfort, listen, and express sadness. It can help others in their own healing.
- Show gratitude.
- Express hope – in ourselves and in others.
- Demonstrate compassion for others.
- Draw strength from supportive relationships.
Napolitano, E. A., & Pesut, D. J. (2015). Bounce forward: The extraordinary resilience of nurse leadership. Silver Spring, MD: American Nurses Association.
Phelps, E. A. (2004). Human emotion and memory: interactions of the amygdala and hippocampal complex. Current opinion in neurobiology, 14, 198 – 202. Doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2004.03.015