Rewatching an Oprah interview with Jill Bolte Taylor, the neuroscientist who had a stroke herself and wrote about it in "Stroke of Genius."
This is what she says about emotions thrilling through our brains and bodies, that we ALLOW, that we CHOOSE to experience:
"Pay attention to how things FEEL in your body. Because you know how it feels like in your body when you get angry, and you have a choice when you get angry of either BEING angry or of PAYING ATTENTION to what it feels like in your body when you ARE angry. Abd, when you have that kind of physiological response, when you get angry, it only takes only 90 seconds -- it takes 90 seconds from the time that you feel that trigger happen and you feel yourself starting to get angry for the chemicals to flush through your body and then completely flush out of you. 90 seconds is all."
Dr. Taylor suggests that the next time we start feeling angry, we start timing it, and within 90 seconds it will be gone. She says "And you can say, great I just dodged that one."
If you keep running the same loop, you can keep the anger alive. She says that people who stay angry (or whatever negative alternate emotion), they are "consciously or unconsciously CHOOSING to rerun the loops, the circuitry."
I love this. I know that some days when I'm working out a muscle in my Bar Method class for 90 seconds, it can be forever. This is very similar. I think 90 seconds will feel like a very long time at first, when the muscles aren't strong. As I strengthen this muscle, though, the 90 seconds will not be very long at all. And, definitely it is much preferable to the alternative, of minutes, days, hours, months.
I'm excited to just watch the emotions. I have some experience doing this over the years, having been taught how to do it by many meditation teachers, gurus, etc. But, somehow Bolte Taylor's reminder that I am CHOOSING to run the circuitry and that it is only 90 SECONDS -- well, both of those factors combined give me a little battery pack on my emotional back in my journey to master my negative emotions.
This is a very Lazy Tip from Bolte Taylor: Watch the emotions for 90 seconds.
Here is the link to Bolte Taylor's TED Talk: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Dr-Jill-Bolte-Taylors-Famous-Talk-on-Experiencing-a-Stroke-Video
Here is the link to Oprah's interview (Part 1 of 12) with Bolte Taylor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2KpDmRmZJw