Mindfulness and Metacognition

What do we mean?

Thinking about the way we think is a foreign concept to many people, but this is the key to taking control over your emotional response to grief. When we think about our thinking, we engage  our perception and understanding of the moment. When we reach the point of realizing what’s going on, we realize that we have the power to change the way we think and the way we feel.

Mindfully being aware of internal dialogue is the first huge step forward.

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Every moment of every day, our minds are constantly filled with chit chat, comparing and contrasting thoughts about our bodies, our environments, and time.

The words don’t stop.

And unless we are aware that this is going on, we’re not in a position of strength to change our emotional state of being. Our thoughts act as a veil that prevents us from seeing things or viewing our circumstances with fresh eyes.

There are many different ways of looking at any event, thing, or process. Whether you believe something is ordinary or extraordinary depends on how you look at it: the event, the thing, the process isn’t changing; your mind is changing. And when your mind changes, new possibilities tend to arise. Your thinking expands in scope and move you beyond your limited preoccupations with yourself.

When you observe things through the lens of mindfulness, whether in formal meditation or daily living, you begin to appreciate things in new ways because your perception has changed!

Meditation, quiet observation, and metacognitive awareness all give us the opportunity to think differently.

Neuroscience has proven that we can change our brains. We can change our behaviors and our attitudes just by thinking differently. Through mental rehearsal, the circuits in the brain reorganize themselves to reflect objectives.

Every time you create a thought, a synchronicity takes place between the brain and the body. You begin to feel the way you think because the brain and the body are in constant communication. And you being to think the way you feel.

This creates a relentless feedback loop.

We are all capable of reliving a past event over and over again.

Unconscious repetition trains the body to remember that emotional state. Memorized feelings limit us to what we can create, because we’re stuck trying to design a new future based on past feelings and past experiences. When the mind and the body are in opposition like this, change won’t happen.

So it’s important to unplug from your past self, realize what’s going on,
and be thinking of the you now and of the future you want.

Far too often, most of us change only when we are faced with a crisis of trauma or discouraging diagnosis of some sort. That crisis commonly comes in the form of a challenge which can be physical like an accident or an illness, emotional (like the loss of someone we love), spiritual (such as an accumulation of setbacks lead us to question how the universe operates), or financial (such as job loss).

When trauma or loss happens our egos get knocked off balance and enter into a negative emotional state. Clearly in the midst of calamity we can’t take care of business as usual.  But at those critical moments when we are tired of being beaten down by circumstances and determined that we cannot go on, we say to ourselves that no matter what else is going on in my life I’m going to change… I have to.

When we break the chains of our negative thinking, we liberate ourselves emotionally. We release energy that was once used up in those negative circumstances to begin to create a new life. We are able to find meaning and joy in a different way.

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There is power in letting go of negative emotions.


When we are mired in negative mindset there’s no way for us to find solutions to problems rooted in the past. Once we relinquish negative emotion, we experience an enormous sense of energy and reality rearranges itself.

As you explore inner thinking and discover mind and body connections, you can take charge. You no longer rely on the external world to define you. No one else, no event can make you feel one way or another. You’re happy and inspired because of who you are. You no longer live in a state of lack or want.

Changing requires recognition of the negative emotional states that produce. Unless you’re prepared to look closely at yourself and assess your propensities with tender honesty you will forever be mired in some past event and the negative emotions it produced.  

Meditation, mindfulness, and metacognition provide the keys. As you become more observant you break your emotional bonds with the body, the environment, and time, you open up a way to become a new self.

What is stopping you from making that change, today?

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