Dealing With Emotion

Notes from Jonathan Blow's talk, titled Techniques for dealing with lack of motivation, malaise, depression. This talk packaged ordinary mindfulness in a much more interesting way, and a lot of the points he hit resonated with what I learned from using Headspace and Calm.

Jonathan describes our emotional state as comprised of three sections.

Thoughts

We think of ourselves as being composed of our thoughts, and we identify with them heavily. Instead of being so absorbed, we should instead aim to step back and allow them to pass.

  1. You are not your thoughts.
  2. It's very useful to stand back from your thoughts and just observe them happening.

Sensations

If you're sitting down and think of the pressure between you and your chair, you think of a solid shape of equal pressure. But if you dig deeper, the shape is far less solid and the boundaries are not as sharp.

  1. Sensations are fundamentally netural. They are only information going into your brain.
  2. Your mind is engaged with amplyfing weak sensations, but you can see through this amplification when applying minimal effort.

Emotion

You can descibe emotion as the way you see the colour of a room. Smallest emotions can spiral into something more difficult to manage.

  1. If you look at your emotional states, they dissapear.
  2. This can give you some relief when times are hard.