Can you find the pause?

Can you find the pause
between stimulus and response*?
It’s important.
Because this is what makes us human.

Remember Pavlov?
He convinced many psychologists that we go straight from stimulus to response.
As in
see food –> eat it
get yelled at –> yell back.

I’m convinced that between the stimulus and response
There is a THOUGHT about that stimulus
Which creates a feeling
Which determines our response.
As in see food –> think “I deserve a treat” –> feel self righteous –> eat it
OR
see food –> think “I’m not hungry” –> feel neutral (or, if you’re me, very proud)
–> ignore the food.

As in
Get yelled at  –> think “how dare she yell at me?” –> feel angry  –> yell back
OR
Get  yelled at  –> think “this is all about her” –> feel detached  –> walk away (or, if you’re very virtuous, give her a hug).

SO….
The exact same stimulus can produce many different responses
Depending on what we choose to think about it.
See Pavlov, we’re humans, not dogs.

People ask me “how do you change your thoughts to change your response?”
Well, it’s easy AND it’s work.

Same as it took Pavlov many trials to condition the dogs to respond to his stimuli,
we humans must take the time to train ourselves to find the pause,
dive into the pause,
eavesdrop on our thinking,
choose the thought that will create the result we want
and condition ourselves to respond to that one.
Even when the self-righteous thoughts, the angry thoughts, the habitual thoughts pop up to compete.

There’s the work.
Choose the thought that makes you feel better.
Choose the thought that promises you the result you want.

With practice,
that pause takes a split second.
No one will know but you.

It’s the pause that makes you an actor in your life instead of a reactor.
It’s the pause that takes us to a life consciously and mindfully lived.

Take that Pavlov.

(*“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
This blog was inspired by the above quote that my sister-in-law taped to her very busy, chaotic kitchen cabinet to remind her that she can choose her response, even when surrounded by 2 dogs, 4 sons, perpetual guests, and my crazy brother!)
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About Forever Free with Bev Aron, Certified Weight Loss Coach

I work with emotional eaters who desperately want relief from emotional eating, but can't seem to do it on their own. They know they need to eat less and move more, but can't figure out why they aren't doing it. My specialty is showing them the why and the how. I also work with parents who are worried about their children's weight. I help those parents encourage their children to have a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food.
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  1. Pingback: What do you wish you never did anymore? | Forever Free by Beverley Aron

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