The 90 second rule

Recently a meditation session introduced me to the concept of the “90 second rule”.

I am a logical thinker and it does not feel good when I have a knee jerk reaction.

It does not feel good when a knee jerk reaction results in regret.

I try counting to 10. It does not consistently work.

The 90 second rule described by Jill Bolte Taylor:

When a person has a reaction to something in their environment,” she says, “there’s a 90-second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”

Jill Bolte Taylor is a neuroanatomist whose book “My Stroke of Insight” I recently read. As a caregiver of a loved one with dementia, I want and need to understand how the brain is impacted by dementia and mental illness.

Her writing appeals to my logical self and it has helped in my search for understanding the brain.

But I too benefited.

If it takes 90 seconds for the chemical process to complete, then of course ,10 seconds will not work for me.

If after 90 seconds my thought and its subsequent reaction are not congruous with my desired outcome, I am choosing to think that thought.

So I am putting the 90 second rule into practice.

Let’s just say, it is a work in progress

But then I tend to be a perfectionist.

But it works!

Have you heard of the 90 Second Rule?

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