Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor Frankl
Buddhism is considered by many to be a religion or a spiritual practice. Yet in its detailed accounts of how the human mind works and how we can train it to be healthier, it’s more in line with psychology.
Much of Buddhism is about increasing awareness of how thoughts and emotions interact. This doesn’t come naturally. It requires instruction and lots of practice. Thankfully, the effects are felt immediately which helps encourage continued practice.
In fact, Western science has documented that mindfulness leaves a lasting mark on the brain. It alters the brain’s circuits of emotional responding, reducing activity linked to negativity while increasing positivity. This is good news for our monkey minds. It means we can willfully change the way our brain works.
Remember, mindfulness is simply a way of taking a step back from the stream of thoughts/sensations to gain a wider perspective. Over time, you learn to observe the contents of your mind in a nonreactive way allowing you the freedom to choose how and who you want to be.