We are able to change the way our brain responds to the moment. The plasticity of the brain allows the creation of new neuropathways, new ways of responding. This is a mindful practice based in self-observation without judgment. Whenever you notice your negative behavior, practice N-R-R, noticing, relaxing, and realigning.
Noticing is the doorway to change. It is a grace-given gift that is affected by self-care. The way we create balance in our lives through diet, movement, sleep, and stress reduction, impact how effectively we can notice our behavior. Practicing self-care is a powerful way to strengthen the muscle of noticing.
Relaxing with the old behavior, once we notice it without judgment, breathing with it, opens the doors to compassion. This flow state, this zone of grace is an essential element in change. Consider it from a physiological state—we spend way too much time in the sympathetic nervous system, the place of fight-flight-freeze. As we relax and take a few deep breathes, we shift into the parasympathetic nervous system, that place of rest-and-digest. Integration happens there. The breath is an amazing tool of self-intervention.
And finally, realign—what is a more aligned action, a more positive step, a more healthy thought you can offer yourself? It might be a moment to practice gratitude, to walk away from the refrigerator, to turn off the television, to pick up the telephone, to bless yourself with a prayer.
Experiment with N-R-R, noticing, relaxing, and realigning. And remember, you cannot possibly do this wrong. This is a practice, a place to continue to return to, no matter what.
Enjoy the journey.