Cultivate Knowledge | Skills | Choice
Know the Process
The experience of emotion is a process of appraising the environment, ourselves, and others for events important to our well-being and the cascade of behavioral, cognitive, somatic, and subjective effects that appraisal sets off.
Emotions are essential to well-being in many ways, but emotional triggers are easier learned than unlearned and out-of-date triggers learned early in life may lead to inappropriate and regrettable responses to current situations.
Introspective training can bring awareness to otherwise unconscious and automatic processes of emotional experience and thereby allow choice about how to engage and express emotions.
Specific practices drawn from Buddhist contemplative traditions are aimed at stabilizing attention, recognizing cognitive bias, sharpening the acuity of somatic perception, strengthening conscious intention, and priming compassionate response for self and others.
Awareness of the process in the midst of an emotional episode allows conscious intervention to break the automatic flow from impulse to action and provides choice about expressing emotions constructively.