Creating Useful Mental Habits
a. Triggers. Simple comments by our boss or spouse can trigger an emotional response from the amygdala that sends a message to the upper, cognitive brain for help in adapting to a stressor. Sometimes the response is appropriate and proportionate, other times, not so much. The trick is to take enough time before responding to process it more cognitively and less emotionally.
b. Coping practice. Try using the pneumonic Siberian North Railroad (SBNRR): Stop (find the “sacred pause”). Breathe (reinforce the pause). Notice (recognize and name the physical bodily reaction). Reflect (figure out where the emotion is coming from). Respond (in a way that ends positively).