How do you redirect to mindfulness when something has triggered you? Why is it so hard to be mindful when you’re in emotional overload?
When you’ve been triggered, your nervous is often too hijacked to employ areas of your prefrontal cortex, specifically those related to cognitive reasoning and even mindfulness, unless each of these skills is more deeply trained.
Instead, when you’re too overwhelmed to be mindful or think rationally, start by taking a deep breath. And then a few more.
In some ways this is s Grandmother wisdom, i.e. something your grandmother would tell you to do. However, there’s good research, especially by Emma Seppala, to support the settling effects of deep breathing for the nervous system.
If you want to take it a step further, try the 4-7-8 breath: Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8.
After you’ve settled a bit, you’ll have more access to your mindfulness skills and cognitive reasoning.