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21 Mindful Minutes a Day Tames the Emotional Rollercoaster

Article by: Dhritisikha Kakoti
Written on 2021-03-19T11:30:18+00:00

In the movie Equilibrium, the survivors of World War III build a futuristic, utopia based on a singular principle. They ban all emotion and emotionally stimulating objects blaming emotion for being the source of all conflict and unhappiness in the world.

The movie isn’t far from the truth. It is our ability to endure and regulate the negative end of the emotional spectrum that impacts the majority of our lives. Modern society brings with it at least one chronic stressor at all times whether it be financial, work or relationships. Situations become stressful when something of great concern is at stake and the demands of the situation outweigh our responses for coping with them. Anger and sadness frequently accompany stress especially when we perceive a lack of control over outcomes.

The New York Academy of Sciences published research exhibiting how mindfulness enhances emotional regulation. The practice of daily mindfulness leads to enhanced awareness of emotions, reduced emotional reactivity to events and increased willingness to tolerate and accept uncomfortable or distressing emotions. Three separate studies support each of these conclusions. Individuals practicing measuring mindfulness showed enhanced prefrontal cortical regulation of affect and reduced bilateral amygdala activity. These areas point to the “reperceiving” process where consciousness shifts from identification with emotion to awareness of the emotion. This shift reduces the intensity and duration of negative emotions. The second study demonstrates that those who practiced mindfulness in particular focused breathing reported less reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. They also showed a willingness to be exposed to negative stimuli for longer. The last study shows that those who practiced mindfulness had higher abilities of adaptive regulation of emotion. This meant a quicker recovery from a negative event and a higher positive state association for events.

Several other studies link mindfulness to greater emotional well-being across the board. Twenty-one minutes of mindfulness a day leads to greater emotional flexibility and endurance. Mindfulness can reduce the difficulty setting of your emotional roller coaster from ‘breakdown’ level to a walk in the park on a windy day.

21 Mindful Minutes a Day Tames the Emotional Rollercoaster

Article by
Written on 2021-03-19T11:30:18+00:00

In the movie Equilibrium, the survivors of World War III build a futuristic, utopia based on a singular principle. They ban all emotion and emotionally stimulating objects blaming emotion for being the source of all conflict and unhappiness in the world.

The movie isn’t far from the truth. It is our ability to endure and regulate the negative end of the emotional spectrum that impacts the majority of our lives. Modern society brings with it at least one chronic stressor at all times whether it be financial, work or relationships. Situations become stressful when something of great concern is at stake and the demands of the situation outweigh our responses for coping with them. Anger and sadness frequently accompany stress especially when we perceive a lack of control over outcomes.

The New York Academy of Sciences published research exhibiting how mindfulness enhances emotional regulation. The practice of daily mindfulness leads to enhanced awareness of emotions, reduced emotional reactivity to events and increased willingness to tolerate and accept uncomfortable or distressing emotions. Three separate studies support each of these conclusions. Individuals practicing measuring mindfulness showed enhanced prefrontal cortical regulation of affect and reduced bilateral amygdala activity. These areas point to the “reperceiving” process where consciousness shifts from identification with emotion to awareness of the emotion. This shift reduces the intensity and duration of negative emotions. The second study demonstrates that those who practiced mindfulness in particular focused breathing reported less reactivity to negative emotional stimuli. They also showed a willingness to be exposed to negative stimuli for longer. The last study shows that those who practiced mindfulness had higher abilities of adaptive regulation of emotion. This meant a quicker recovery from a negative event and a higher positive state association for events.

Several other studies link mindfulness to greater emotional well-being across the board. Twenty-one minutes of mindfulness a day leads to greater emotional flexibility and endurance. Mindfulness can reduce the difficulty setting of your emotional roller coaster from ‘breakdown’ level to a walk in the park on a windy day.

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