the three second rule for mindfulness

You can find a number of three second rules if you search for them on the internet.

This one is about staying mindful.

As we progress in our mindfulness training, we become mindfully aware of our conditioned responses earlier and earlier in our experiences.

An example is:

Before mindfulness

I get onto the train for my commute and someone pushes in front of me to take the only seat left on the carriage. I get angry and stand glowering all the way to my destination resenting him and thinking to myself how rude people are. I am a good person living in a world full of rude and selfish people!

While learning mindfulness

I get onto the train for my commute and someone pushes in front of me to take the only seat left on the carriage. I get angry and stand glowering most of the way to my destination resenting him and thinking to myself how rude people are. I am a good person living in a world full of rude and selfish people. But then I realise that the way I feel is because of my conditioning and that he behaved the way he did because of his and maybe the world isn’t so bad after all…

When mindful

I get onto the train for my commute and someone pushes in front of me to take the only seat left on the carriage.
I smile realising that the feelings I can detect just below the surface of my experience are my ancient conditioning at work. I feel compassion for the rude guy because he so desperately needs a perceived victory to get through his day.

The three second rule

While learning mindfulness, the three second rule comes in handy

What we do is this:

Whenever, and that is *whenever* we experience a negative emotion:

  • take in a breath (second one)
  • hold it for a moment (second two)
  • breathe out (second three)
  • allow yourself to be aware of how you feel

You will find that you have punctuated your flow of emotion and train of thoughts, stopping you from possibly descending into a negative feedback loop of thoughts and emotions.

Try it, let me know how it goes?

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
the three second rule for mindfulness by Bromley Mindfulness is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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