Sometimes, we just don’t have the strength to dive into emotional regulation routines. Actually, pretty often in these pandemic times. However, we can at least lie down in the direction of “better us”. 😉
Any interaction with those who embody the desired worldview/qualities makes it possible to “connect”. Be it texts, background listening of video- or audio recordings, even merely remembering anything related. How much “goodness” can one take from such between-this-and-then interaction is, of course, a personal question. However, even 1% is better than nothing.
The flip side of the coin: someone with unresolved issues may mediate their implicit problems and motivations, even if they use the “right” words/theory and do it inadvertently. It is your life and time — go for the most reliable sources you can reach.
Here are some them off the top of my head:
1. Background listening to a video or audio narrative
- If it is narrated by someone with a functional worldview (direct connection to “the source”)
- someone quotes the embodying author’s ideas or biography (indirect connection).
Just don’t jump the gun, like I did, starting with the video teachings of the Dalai Lama on the Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way or Heart Sutra. I could not yet stand on my feet, but I thought I theoretically "understood" how to sprint on Olympics.
Up until now, I listen to the video narrative about the Buddha by Richard Gere (PBS) from time to time. A beautiful and simple way to connect and expose oneself to a no-harm perspective. After a number of runs, it makes me switch inside and tune in just by hearing a bit of its soundtrack.
Sometimes, such recordings can make one go asleep. Which is not a bad thing either. “Too much mind” sometimes leads to its shutdown.
2. Watch a feature film about such a person
For example, Pope John Paul II – “Karol The Man Who Became Pope”
3. Read/listen to a fiction book about such a person
In the beginning, I enjoyed the books about Jesus, Buddha, and Muhammad by Deepak Chopra.
4. Listen to Pavarotti
And not only “Ave Maria”.
5. I am not too sure about popular guided meditations and mantras
Incl. via mobile apps. Unless they are narrated by someone like HH The Dalai Lama 14th personally.
Guided meditations act either:
- connecting to the “right source” (someone with embodied views/issues resolved), supporting our general emotional regulation program, e.g. improve our understanding or at least remind us about eco-views,
- just temporarily diverting our attention to soothing sounds or an attractive voice (“sexy” voice may be the wrong companion, even if we hear “familiar” words).
Mantras are even more complicated… Yoga instructors and pop-singers may not be the best source. It very much depends on who performs and who listens 😉 (especially if we are not members of religious tradition mantra belongs to).
6. Desktop backgrounds, images and the like.
Any reminder helps in our busy times 😉
7. Oh yes! Don’t forget about “ordinary” people you know
We may actually know someone who makes us feel better, calm down via simple “off-topic” conversation or message exchange. They may be the “ones”, people of any profession and outlook with embodied resilience, ability to maintain balance, issues resolved. Especially, if this is our boss or someone we interact with daily. 😉
Any interactions, social, work-related, virtual may be of help. Not because we dump our frustrations at them and feel relieved for a while. They, actually, may not agree with our justifications of anger or worries. True “support network” does not support going down.
Even if something sounds OK, entertains, or calms us down for a while… Make sure it is not a fake “miracle-worker” solution that:
- offers quick and guaranteed results
- does not deal with the causes/views, but only suppresses or distracts us from emotional symptoms
- someone else does the job for us
- external means are sufficient – use a substance, ritual, etc.
- smart “hack” approach
- mysterious, exotic means (no understanding of how it works and fits the worldview)
- the promise of material gains, health, money, relationships, higher states, mental powers, etc.
Obviously, any real emotional regulation progress requires much more than lazy listening. But any extra exposure is of help! 😉 For example, a reading list of emotional hygiene articles during the COVID-19 pandemic. or “The Palpable Route” free book.