Simple (not easy) Practice: Becoming Response-able

Becoming “Response-able” for Wisdom & Wellness

For Simple Practice today, observe the way(s) you RESPOND to your experiences.

Hopefully, if you slow down enough and pay attention as outlined below, you can learn something important about yourself and how you are responding to life.

When you learn more about your thoughts and feelings (mind/body), you are becoming more response-able, that is “able to take responsibility” for what’s happening with you, blaming less, and coping better. You have to notice your habits first in order to create optimal, more mindful ones for your wellness. This takes willingness, practice, and commitment to knowing yourself to become more wise and well. Enjoy this challenge!

Choose from any of the options below, and you may like to write about what you learned from this practice after its complete.

A. Pick some thought you think today and notice how you RESPOND to that thought.

Maybe you meditate for like 10 seconds or 10 minutes to notice a thought and the response to a specific thought. Or, just try to sit (or stand/walk/practice a yoga posture) and notice a thought and your response to that thought.

Simple, right? not so easy! Wondering why it’s not so easy?
Read this book for more information about how the mind works.

B. Pick a conversation (with one other person face-to-face) that you will likely be involved in at some point today (in your job or personal life or at the gym, etc…).

Notice how you RESPOND to this person. Focus on the process of stimulus and response that is happening with you, not getting carried away with the other person. This is an exercise to know yourself better, not about the other person. You are being response-able for you, not them.

C. Pick any feeling or emotion you have today and notice how you respond to that emotion.

For example, when you feel hungry, notice how you respond to that feeling. Try to carefully notice exactly what happens in the moment when you notice you are hungry Don’t skip over the thoughts and feelings too quickly, noticing only that you ate food as the sole response. It takes time to feel the sensation, notice you are experiencing it, and then…what comes next, before “doing something” about it. Try to slow way down to notice what’s happening between stimulus and response. Is there a thought or thought pattern (perhaps a usual story) that immediately follows the physical sensation of hunger, feelings associated with hunger?

Another example is anger. Notice how you respond to feeling angry. Notice what happens (without judgment– only to learn about yourself).

Another is anxiety, maybe social anxiety. Notice exactly what is happening with you, in you (body and mind) when you feel anxious.

*Maybe it’s not the thoughts or the feelings or the people that are problematic, but how you are responding to them. Perhaps you need to continue to learn more to become more response-able.

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