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Posted on: Thursday, August 23, 2018 Category: Blog (58)
2 min read

By Emily Kucukalic & Jo Martin

Having your pitch knocked back or not receiving the memo for after work drinks can elicit some pretty angry and sad thoughts about yourself and others. In social or professional situations, rejection is one of those things detrimental to your status and mood. However, status can be regained, and according to new research, you can overcome the emotional pain of rejection.

A small study by researchers published in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal has found that, by practising mindfulness, people are better equipped to self-regulate harmful emotions like anger that may be aroused when experiencing rejection or exclusion.

Mindfulness, as defined by the researchers, is “a mental state of receptive attentiveness to internal and external stimuli as they arise, moment-to-moment—may buffer such social distress” (Martelli et al 2018). Simply put, it is the practice of deliberately and purposely paying attention to what you’re thinking, doing, feeling and what is happening around you in the present moment, without judgement. When implementing mindfulness techniques, the researchers were able to map cortical changes in the certain parts of the brain that play critical roles in the generation of social distress. As such, mindfulness appeared to enable effective coping of rejection, by limiting the function and activation of certain areas of the brain, resulting in more effective long-term emotion regulation.

So, how do we be mindful? Here are some tips from ReachOut:

1. Focus on the present moment only

What is happening right now? How is your breathing? Are you tired, hungry? How do you feel?
Mindfulness can be developed through regular activities like walking, brushing your teeth or even making breakfast. By focusing on the present moment, you are able to move your attention away from thought about the past or future.

2. Concentrate on the environment around you

What can you hear, see or smell? Do you feel hot or cold? What does the air feel like on your face? By concentrating on the things happening around you, you are able to prevent yourself from being caught up in thoughts.

3. Notice, don’t judge

Wilfred Bion said that,”the purest form of listening is to listen without memory or desire.” That is, to listen without bias. Beyond listening, by noticing things and not labeling them, you are able to detracting yourself from emotional connotations that may trigger harmful feelings resulting from rejection. By noticing without judging you can restrict how you judge your own feelings and reactions.

4. Mindful meditation

Sit quietly with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing, or on a mantra that you can repeat quietly. Allow thoughts to come and go, without following them. When you start to wander, lead back to your breathing or mantra.

5. Mindful breathing

Like meditation, however easier to do in less private places, focusing on your breath can help regulate emotions. Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. How does it feel and sound like? Where do you feel your breath in your body? This can be done with your eyes open or closed.

At Brand New You, we talk about being deliberate, distinctive and authentic in everything we do. There are certain techniques and tools we employ to help our clients be the best version of themselves. Some of these are used to help our clients develop control over their body and mind, so that they can realign, refocus and excel in work and life. If you would like to know more, shoot us an email at anytime.

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