Tuesday Tip: Question Your ResponsesMarch 16, 2021
In this week’s Tuesday Well-Being Tip, we explore actively inquiring into how you respond to a specific situation.
The reality of being a human is that every day brings new challenges – whether with family, friends, or work.
If you find yourself ruminating ahead of a challenge (an upcoming meeting, a trip with your extended family, a difficult conversation), can you practice the skill of Insight (the third pillar in the Healthy Minds Framework for Well-Being) to support your own well-being?
Here’s an easy way to start. Ask yourself 2 questions. That’s it. Just 2.
- Define your challenge: Be specific. Is there something going on in your life right now that could use a new perspective? Take a moment to bring a situation to mind.
- Ask yourself 2 questions: “What do I believe to be true here?” and second, “Is it actually true?”
- Let it sink in: Reflect on your answers.
Treat these questions like a game. The point isn’t to beat yourself up, or to get critical about someone else or the situation itself. The point is exploration and discovery. So stay curious and open.
It’s especially helpful to ask these questions before you’re in the thick of things. When you’re on your way to a meeting or about to pick up the phone and make a call.
When you’re moving into this situation, take a moment to reflect. “What do I believe to be true about this situation, about myself, and about the people involved? What stories am I telling myself here?” Ask this question and see what naturally arises in the mind. Give it a few moments.
Once some of your hidden beliefs start to surface, ask yourself, “Am I seeing the whole picture here? Is this actually true – beyond any shadow of doubt?”
You can also practice this on the spot, when you’re in the situation – and later on, once it’s over. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. You don’t even have to stop what you’re doing. Just ask yourself these simple questions and see what arises.
Practicing this skill allows us to see that any belief, no matter how accurate it may seem, is going to be limited and one-sided. And once we see the limitations of our own beliefs and interpretations, we find ourselves with more room in our minds to see the situation with clarity.
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