#246: Losing Your Patience? Here's How to Get it Back
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This pandemic has been a colossal test of our patients from dealing with family to interminably long. Wait Times on calls with the unemployment office to just wanting this whole nightmare to evaporate so we can go back the movies today. We've got a special two part episode. In the first part we bring a pair of researchers who study patients the good news. Here's they've found. That patients is a quality that we can train and develop through meditation and a whole bunch of other strategies including cognitive reappraisal transcendence or just learning how to fake it until you make it side note in our conversation with these researchers we also fall into interesting chat about the benefits of defensive pessimism strategic optimism after the researchers that we bring on legendary Meditation Teacher. Sharon Salzberg for deeper dive into how to use meditation specifically to increase our patients especially when it comes to interpersonal stuff. Which let's be honest includes other people and ourselves. So let's start with our experts. Dr Sarah Schnittger from the psychology and Neuroscience Department at Baylor University and Dr Cate Sweeney from the Psychology Department at the University of California at Riverside. Here we go all right. Thank you both for joining us to be here. Thanks thank you really appreciate it. Kate let me pick on you first. Can you just describe how you became interested in the subject of patients in your research has shown you? Yeah so I'm a social psychologist by training. Which basically means I study. You know how people live their daily lives. Adults normative adults and when I started graduate school I was studying. Essentially the benefits of pessimism so the ways in which racing for the worst. When you're waiting for some kind of news can be really beneficial for protect you from disappointment and so forth later on that research expanded out and so now I kind of study waiting and uncertainty more generally and of course the best version of that is patients. So that's kind of an I got connected who will meet shortly and so when I think about uncertainty and waiting I'm really thinking about the situational press so the fact that that's a really stressful experience for most people and I think a little bit less about the ways in which certain people might more patiently handle that than others. Then what we've confirmed is that yeah. It's really hard. Periods of uncertainty are really challenging very stressful very difficult to cope with and we have certainly identified ways that people can cope better. Which I'm sure we'll talk about at some point down the line here but essentially started small got bigger and now we've just been trying to hunt down good ways of coping with these experiences so you've looked at just according to your bio here. You've looked at law graduates awaiting news about the bar exam and then patients awaiting biopsy results. So yeah a lot of uncertainty and fear in both of those situations. Yeah absolutely. We've also looked at lots of other context voters waiting for election results. We've looked at the last few major elections in the US and lots of other kinds of professional and academic and health waiting periods. But certainly those are two of the ones that are the biggest and you know people ask me a lot like does it matter if you're waiting for life or death news versus finding out whether you pass the bar exam and I have to tell you the people waiting for bar exam news. Look just as freaked out as people waiting by results so I think life and death is often in the eye of the beholder with these situations and by what measure did they look justice. Forget what are the metric. Somebody is yes the mostly we just ask people. It would be ideal in mind reading where we could really tell like in reality. How worried are they? But for the most part we just kind of trust people that they know when they're worried they know in their stress and so he actually measuring lots of different ways to try to make sure that. We're not getting kind of idiosyncratic answers on a particular measure but it includes things like worry like repetitive thoughts are obsessing about the uncertainty general emotional state symptoms of ill health for sleep so lots of different markers of poor wellbeing moments. Okay Sarah let me pick anew now for second so can you? Just tell me a little bit about your background. How you came to this issue and described the research you've done. Yes definitely so like Kate. I am also trained in social psychology but also focus on understanding personality a bit more and trying to figure out how we each as individuals are different from others and what goes into making a person and so when I began Grad School. I was really interested in studying the development of character strengths both in adults but also in adolescence and as I began looking at the scientific literature. It really struck me that no one was studying patients at all. No one I found four sources and one of them was Charles Darwin hockey about the emotional the bodily expression of the emotion of patients right so it struck me as very odd and that's not a very common thing as a researcher to find an area that is so under studied and so I said what's going on here first of all. Why is it? We don't CARE ABOUT PATIENTS. And then why should we should? We not and started to explore that question and pretty quickly. I came to the conclusion that this is actually a pretty important thing being patient but that at least in the United States cultural context I think in a lot of the Western world. We've come to ignore patients really since the industrial revolution. That we think if you have to wait or you have to suffer or deal with uncertainty that to technological failure and instead of saying that that's a natural part of life and that's part of being a human being and that we can cultivate the strength of patients in order to deal with sufferings uncertainty in waiting better instead our approach in the twenty first century is. Let's fix it with our technology so very quickly. Ooh This could be a problem because a lot of the things that are most important in life. You don't have control over and you have to wait and we all now are in this situation of Cova. Nineteen where we all are dealing with uncertainty. We can't immediately fix it and so a lot of my work has been starting to explore how we can help. People cultivate the virtue of patience understanding. Just what is it as a character strength and also in the beginning to trend to show that it is a good thing that this is something you want in your life. You know. I think the question I often get from people is full. Won't you just become a doormat? Or You really passive and just let life pass you by if you become patient and so our research suggests that is not the case and instead people who are disposition patient actually exert more effort in the pursuit of their goals at allows them basically to regulate their emotions so that they can make choices and know when to act when not to act and not just be driven by fear or anxiety or anger and instead be making wise decisions. We should you said before in one of the paragraphs you just uttered so eloquently that he one of the things you were looking at is what is patients so. I'm just curious. How do you define patients? Yeah so we defined it as the ability to be calm in the face of frustration obstacles suffering so doesn't necessarily involve waiting for something. I think that's a common component but there may also be forms of suffering that you have to patiently endure. That are never going to go away. So someone who has a chronic illness? They know that that's never gonna be fixed but they are patient with that suffering. We also see. There's different types of patients you have that long term life. Hardship patients like a chronic illness. If you think about what causes suffering in your life you might also realize Oh. It's the people I'm around. Those of us who are stuck in captivity with people that can be you can require patients. I have a three year old. This is a time for being patient with her and with myself. And so we see the interpersonal. Patience is somewhat distinct but really important for well being and then you have more your daily hassles patient. So this is I think what people typically think of it first getting stuck in traffic jams waiting in lines waiting on the phone for many people right now waiting on the phone for the unemployment office. This is the daily hassles components. Which also if you're impatient with those that can be a source of ill health and stress but we find all three are really critical and in many ways that long term life hardship patients and the interpersonal patients. That are most predictive of wellbeing. Outcomes this memories coming in mind I had a babysitter growing up when Nita she was not actually let necks her mother who she described as a heavy drinker used to like to read. She was Irish but she used to like to read romance novels and with the lead character. And what are the novels was named Juanita so anyway would need a babysitter. And I my brother and I were object. Ganic pains in the butt and I remember her driving her yellow vw Bug through Newton Massachusetts with my brother and I just tormenting her and she would grit her teeth and say patience is a virtue so it's interesting that if I heard you correctly that there are these three types of patients you know. How am I online at the pharmacy? However my inter personally and how how am I with long-term discomfort or misfortune of some sort and that it sounds to me like they're connected deeply. How you are in one area is going to say a lot about how you are in another And that's what our fancy statistics show us. They have some distinctive to them. But they really do have this. I think solid core to them that the person is cultivated habits whereby they can regulate their emotions effectively and the other thing that I think is the common core to all of them is that a person has a purpose behind there waiting. That's actually something. We've shown his really essential so if you have no reason to wait or suffer why why are you doing right so you just give up or you get angry and so in our work showing that there needs to be some kind of higher order beyond the self purpose for some people. That's really building a community that they care about contributing to society for some people that can be more spiritual connecting with something transcendent whether that's God or Karma higher power whatever that may be having something that really energize you and says it's worse suffering for this is necessary but I can see how that would apply at in interpersonal relationships. And if you're dealing with a chronic illness but how does transcendent meaning? Playa the drugstore. I think this is the opportunity to practice for those other. Two I think is what happens. I know that's what I try to do. Is in those situations kind of reframe like okay. This is a good opportunity for me to practice. The skill that I know is so essential as a mom and so I can use it here. Kate you I understand. You've been looking at how folks in China handled the lockdown there. Can you give a sense of what you found? Yeah so this is a study. I did with some collaborators in my department and in China in February so at the peak of the Cova problem there and before it really I mean now we know it was here but before we all kind of got used to that idea and what we found a lot of interesting things but one of them is that of course the longer people had been in quarantine and their Corinthian was a pretty severe restriction. And not even going out to the grocery store leaving the House. People who were in that state longer were worse off on lots of measures even beyond the ones. I mentioned earlier also like drinking more smoking more eating less healthily things like that and we're lonely are of course and so given that they had that a form of suffering due to the CORINTHIAN interested in looking at any whether anything we measured might give us a hint of what could make that lengthy quarantine easier again. I have to tell you I was running these analyses. I think within twenty four hours before the decision got me at my university like shut it all down so little. Did I know how much I would need research this finding but what we found basically is that there are lots of things that are correlated with related. Sue having an easier time in the moment that people were filling out the survey so like being more mindful of for example seemed to be at least associated with good things more optimistic but we only found one thing that actually seemed to reduce or ameliorate the effect of the Corinthian links which was being in a state of flow and so flow is basically the sort of feeling state you get into when you're doing something that is just the right amount of challenging where you can track your progress. It's a pleasurable activity. You're just all the way in you lose yourself. You lose track of time totally absorbed when I'm trying to get people to think about what they're flow activities are. I always say like what's the thing if you sit down to thirty minutes before you leave the House that you know you will completely lose time and be late for wherever you're going back when people left the house so what. We found that people who said that they'd been in that state more in the previous week. It kind of didn't seem to matter how long they'd been quarantined. The people who'd been in quarantine for two or more weeks looked essentially the same as people who were not yet in Corinthian in terms of like every measure of wellbeing that we have essentially a so again. It's great to be mindful. It's great to be optimistic. Have SATISFACTION WITH LIFE. Lots of other things but none of those really seemed to kind of cut down the effect that longer quarantine was having on people's well-being every time. I hear about flow. I feel bad about myself because I just don't know if I ever get into flow. Maybe the one thing that I do would be playing the drums which I don't do that often but when I do it sometimes I get bored but sometimes I it's amazing and I do lose. Track of time What else would put one in a flow state? So it's it's different for everyone because you have to kind of match those three pleasurable challenging but not too challenging and also kind of tracking progress so different activities get different people. They're the ones that are most reliable. Are Video Games or game? Fide other kinds of activities. So like I'm trying to learn. Spanish Lingo Dueling gamified version of language. Learning where it gives you a little rewards pleasant sounds when you do well and hugging terrible sounds when you do poorly and the little from their logo comes up and says nice things when you're doing well so you get that kind of progress tracking the rewards for doing well and it gets harder as you go on and I happen to enjoy it so for me. That's a great flow activity but again games. Any kind of video game is just of custody to create this because most video games get harder as you get better than give you lots of feedback about how you're doing and if you enjoy them then all the better but people get in flow like what. My favorite flow activity is data analysis. I'm guessing that doesn't resonate with normal people who have onto this party research survey so that's great for me. Not Probably for most people other people might get it gardening which I find. Dds and horrible people commonly also mentioned things like organizing cleaning out closets or addicts. I think I'm seeing people look for flow in this frenetic bread baking phenomenon. That seems to be happening right now. You know it's not making muffins that'll pretty much. Come out. Well no matter what you do. It's the slake challenging task and also you get to kind of post beautiful pictures of your newest sour dough recipe and so you get that progress and I think that's people looking for flow. That's so interesting. Did you get any data from the Chinese subjects of what they were doing? No I wish we had no. We haven't we have lots of other data from other studies but not in that moment not without population sadly but so what you're telling me and I guess anybody who has a teenage child hearing. This is going to be really disappointed in you. You're telling me is that video games may be really good Yes good for some things I guess. Not but for others You know if your goal is pass the time and feel good. It's not the worst activity you could choose. I mean if your goal is get your homework done maybe not the best activity. But you know if you're stuck in quarantine with little else to do yeah I might prescribe a little bit of gaming here and there. That's something you enjoy us. And did you look at whether you asked about mindfulness? But did you correlate that in any way to significant meditation practice by the way one can achieve flow in that? I think I probably have at times. I think that's absolutely right. Although it's probably not the most natural flow activity for most people except maybe the most practice meditators so we didn't get a lot of information in this study about where they're mindless coming from. It was more of a general measure of like. Are you feeling these things that look like mindfulness in the past week? So people presumably. Who Do more you know meditation and another mindful practices? Probably feel more of it. But we don't know where it was coming from. Maybe it doesn't matter necessarily where it's coming from if you're finding it one way or another whether it's coming from lengthy meditation or just general presence as you move through the world. I think it seems to be benefiting people either way what about physical activity because I know in China the Martial Arts. I think she going. I know it's Asian but I think it's Chinese which is kind of slow motion meditation physical activity of any sort. Is that a flow activity in. Do you think that's something you would recommend to us to do right now? Yeah so it can be flow activity. Anyone who works out a lot probably experienced both flow like exercise and not so flow like exercise. Like I hate running. I was getting okay doing it on the treadmill before all this happened and then I tried it in my neighborhood and I was like no not feeling flow or mindfulness. This is terrible. I'm GONNA stop so so I've gone back to Yogesh for me. Does actually create more of both the mindfulness and of course the many other benefits physical exercise but also a little bit of that flow. Because for me it does combine the right set of ingredients. I enjoy it. I do classes where it's challenging but not overwhelmingly so and I can kind of talk my progress at least just internally like can I hold that position that I couldn't hold before can I stretch further than I could yesterday so for me that works whereas like jogging did not so. It's not automatically flow but it can't be the worst thing that's happened to me with. Jogging recently is now. My Watch tells me how fast I'm going and how what my time has been and so now I'm ruining every run trying to beat the last run and usually failing which is another way. I've ruined Helton for myself as well. So there are ways for us to take things like meditation like exercise or even music anything and ruin it for ourselves. We're great at that. Yeah sure people out there making soda. Bread have ruined it for themselves. So Sarah What do you think? Let me. Just get to the heart of the matter. Now because we're veteran toward but people are. I think justifiably impatient right now handling it in various ways. What's your best expert advice for how to boost our patients quotient under these pretty sub optimal circumstances? Yeah it's not GONNA be easy. That's the hard thing about patients. It takes a long time to become patient. Takes patience to be patient. I'd say when I talk to people about okay. How do we grow your patients? I like to use the weight. Acronym W Y is patients important to you a for awareness of starting to understand how you're actually feeling that for many people actually not easy a with my three year old daughter a lot of just trying to identify what emotion. She's feeling when she's getting upset. And I've noticed I start doing it more with myself and then started to do it with other people which I'm sure they find very annoying but it's hard and my angry right now and my sad my anxious just being able to become aware of what it is. I think that in itself can often take some power away from that emotion so then after why is it important awareness? I like to talk about identifying ways to regulate and this could differ depending on the person so I think what Kate was talking about and China like finding flow states that especially in this kind of waiting situation with cove in nineteen where it's so uncertain and the timescale for how long this could be is really large. There could be a year to eighteen months right. We so that flows state kind of activity could be highly effective. Another strategy that we find is quite effective is what we call cognitive reappraisal. Just basically just trying to think about it in a different way in a way that refrains the situation. Sometimes that could be benefit finding which we see people taking the opportunity to do so. Wow I get to see my kids a lot more. I've seen more people talking to their neighbors far away my neighborhood than ever that In some ways we're building our community and people are getting more physical exercise outside. I've never seen him. So many people taking walks right so just trying to find benefits in the hardship. Doesn't discredit that. Something bad is happening but reappraising to see what good is happening or just finding a new way to realize. This could be worse right. There's lots of ways to reframe that just in themselves blunt that emotional impact and the last step so we talk about why is patients important awareness of your emotions identifying waste regulate and then t for transcend so find something bigger beyond yourself and I think with something like Cova Nineteen. That's actually pretty important that this is for not just me my own health and my own safety but for that our entire community that okay. Even if I'm a person WHO's not at risk there are a lot of people at risk and I'm doing this for the greater good and that our society could get back to normal in a healthy manner even though it feels like it's GonNa take a long time with this approach of social distancing. That actually is a good approach and my suffering now is helping others. I mean you did say early on that having a meaning behind your patients really turbocharged the whole enterprise so that's the transcendence yet that's the transcendence something bigger back to a the awareness of your emotional state that to me is a meditators screams out like okay. Well this whole thing can work better if you have the self awareness that's generated from meditation definitely lane and in one of our early studies. We actually tried out. Created A patient's training program for college undergraduates and with that program every session. We had included a meditation opponent because for many people in our society. Our lives are so busy and we're constantly inundated with information and Stimuli. That most people are not able to become aware unless they stop and induce some type of meditative practice. Whether it be more of a mindfulness meditation or some other type of meditative activity Katie. You're nodding your head wondering if you WANNA weigh on that I concur I think a lot of these processes do it. Easier with mindfulness. I sort of put flow over. Mindfulness in terms of talking about our results from that study in China just because it didn't seem to have very consistent effective ameliorating the effects of quarantine. But you know it's possible and would be hard to look at statistically but it is very possible that having mindfulness as a base and then building flow onto that is particularly effective. I would have to believe but what I'm hearing overall from you guys is that patients is a skill that can be generated because I constitutionally not very patient died. Can't sit still very well. And the more I meditate tomorrow notice how. My Day is infused with rushing and my meditation teacher. Joseph Goldstein has always talking about notice rushing as a feedback as this toppling forward. That's happening for me in meditation. Or when I'm putting my shoes on or you waiting for my son to reach the end of his sentence so I can tell them. It's time for a timeout. Or whatever it is. It's just their so prominently now says salient partly. Because I've got the boosted self awareness from meditation. Yes I stop talking but I wonder if this provokes thoughts free the review now. I definitely a big advocate that we can improve our patients and we found that not only were the participants who were in the course instead of the control group. They were more patient at the end. They also showed a decrease in depressive symptoms. So if you look actually at ancient philosophy. The of patience is discussed as between two vices. So one of recklessness impulsivity and the thing we typically think of as impatience but the other pole is a term. I can never pronounce a CD. A- basically it's giving up on life and giving up on the things that are most important to you sometimes it's translated US sloth or boredom or busy ness it's right we don't really have a term for it in our language but a lot of it is things that go along with depressive symptoms of no longer able to stay engaged when. I think about it with patient right. It's if you become so overwhelmed you start to just give up on goals in life. And I think that's a real danger. We see during this quarantine for cove in nineteen people are disconnected from things. That are most important to them and disconnected from everything and from the things that they're passionate about and so it makes a lot of sense to me earlier. What you're saying with Flo Kate because I think with flo you get the energy of feeling that passion that thing that energizes you right in with patients that helps you to not become so overwhelmed that you just have to disengage because you can't handle the negative emotion and that anxiety and so you just give up instead so in all. Just add. Think a lot of my research has sort of looked at what we do when we aren't there yet. So you know if you find yourself. Thrown into a terrible uncertain situation or a terrible interpersonal situation in the case of that sort of patients. What do you do that? And so a lot of my research is kind of looking cheats. Like if you find yourself losing your mind cause your patience is not where it needs to be. Well okay maybe maybe try meditation and maybe try to find flow activity. We've got some others like expose yourself to something that will bring into your life so you know. They're all kind of cheats to try to achieve what patients achieved naturally. But are those cheats or are those just genuine tools that will get you to patients. Well that's a good question. I think they're genuine tools. I think yes teaches under selling them because no one ever achieves perfect patients right so I think those are the habits. The practices that you can really start building and I like to call patients a character strength or virtue rather than personality trade because I really think it is something that you can create as a habit in your life and the habits is finding little rewarding things that will help you. Keep doing that habit and I think with something like patients right. Finding those treats of you know what I was patient today. Let me do my ten minutes video games. 'cause that's fun like it's okay to you don't have to knuckle down and achieve in one fell swoop that it's small habits over and over again in a particular context and we're all a home right now and that's the context we always are in so now is a great time to release. Start DEVELOPING THOSE HABITS. Maybe creating little spaces within your home of okay. Here's where I can go and meditate and practice this thing and when you go sit in that particular spot it can help you to activate those good habits. The Patients Jim. So you talking about impulsivity came to mind for me. You talk about it impulsively. Kind of being one of the opposites of patients and the marshmallow test came to mind to me for me so kate. You're smiling just for people who are unfamiliar with this. I think it was Stanford or I don't know where it was. But they did this test where they had brought a little kids. This is a test. I would have failed as a kid and I would fail right now. They said you can have this marshmallow right now. And then you're done or you can sit here patiently and we'll give you two and the kids. Those who waited for the second marshmallow. There were correlations as I understand it. In terms of life outcomes that were pretty powerful. So I'm curious if this lands in any way for you and then I also want to use that as a way to get to eating because I think this is something we do when we're feeling impatient. I'll jump embarrassed kate. You probably have some thoughts as well right. The marshmallow test is really honing in that very specific ability to delay gratification. Which yes we know is quite important. I think is an ingredient to help with patience. I think patience is a little bit different than that marshmallow test. Because there's a lot of choice agency there that we don't always find in especially on certain waiting situations or situations of long-term suffering right so I'm like what is the second marshmallow. I'm waiting for like there's I'm stop. We're stuck here. There might not be a magical cure that if you just do the right things and do the perfect diet and do the perfect exercises. You still might have this bad thing that you have to deal with. And so that's where I think. Delay of gratification can be really helpful for patients because we do often have quite a few choices and agency but sometimes we have to figure out what to do when we are up against this hard limit or against the thing that isn't going to change and that's where I think having the skills of patients of having a bigger purpose of why the suffering matters of able to find ways to make sense of that difficult thing and then regularly around it are really important. What do you think kate? Yeah I don't know that I have a ton to add but it is sort of an interesting take on patients to think of it as sort of one piece of self regulation or self control which is really what we're talking about with the Walter. Michelle stuff about marshmallows. It does again going back to why I called Some of these coping strategies cheats earlier. And I what I was thinking when I said that was that. If patients is kind of a a muscle you can develop essentially to some extent which you know. Of course you do through practice but navy becomes a bit more automatic that I I guess that makes it sound like self control in that you can develop it and then again coming back to my comment about sheets. I what I was thinking is like some of the strategies I study. It would work even if you're you know a ninety pound weekly. It doesn't really matter like you can do it either way. Even if what those. Become our habits patient people so not of direct answer but just some additional thoughts there. So you're saying if I hear you an I noticed this comma. Come up in some of the research that our producer. Samuel sent me that it's possible in some ways to fake patients. Yeah I think so I mean you know again it sort of depends how you define patients really like deep down like something that is inside us or is it a behavior that we do and that's often really hard to disentangle with psychological stuff. But I guess when I think of patients in the virtue language it does feel like something that we have a little bit of inside of us can build. Sarah has said whereas I think you can fake being patient. Pretty well to yourself when it comes to things like flow like you just made our go by fast. It's not that you handled the hour. Well let's just you made it fly by playing video game. You know that feels like a cheat to me. It's not like real patients that'll pay off later. It's just you got through this bad our this day but I would say. Meditation is in a different category for me because you are leaning in to the the feeling I mean. It's a hard thing to do. You're leaning into the discomfort. The restlessness the uncertainty. There's an art to it because you don't want to overwhelm yourself either. Especially if you've have some trauma and your background in this is by many definitions collective trauma that we're in right now so there's some delicacy that is called for but in general we are sort of the theory of the only way out is through. Is the meditation world's sort of rallying cry here and you know that doesn't strike me as a cheat that strikes me as like to embrace this thing and the the benefit is that over time. I'll be less controlled by the restlessness etcetera etcetera. Say to you know I was talking about earlier. The wait plan to patients the awareness. I think the cheats is you. Try to just deny that there was ever the the negative emotion. I think some people just go straight to the video games and try to pretend there aren't upset at all and just kind of dove around it so I think sometimes okay to use those flow but I completely agree that the meditation an approach says we're jumping all the way in. We're going to become fully aware of that negative emotion. Not Judge it. See what happens with an? I think that's really critical step to achieving that long-term more disposition all character virtue of patients. You can't get to that personal. It can work for you wherever and whenever you are that you've got to be able to actually address that negative emotion and not. Just go through escapism. Yeah I agree I mean I think again just coming back to that one. Study that we have lots of studies on the benefits of flow. And of course. Mindfulness but it does seem to me that the fact that the long. Corinthian in that study it was about two weeks two to three weeks and so it seems to me that that you could perhaps persist through a couple of days maybe weeks by just like as you said kind of avoiding denying flowing in ways that just take your mind away but it's not gonna be sustainable for really long periods of time and so as we're looking at really longer time here. I do think that practice of mindfulness that is more portable whether or not you can in that moment. Use a flow activity or not. You can at least have that inside that becomes much more important over longer periods of time. Kate let me get you to talk about interpersonal patients. What is your research either professionally or personally shown you here so. I haven't looked as much at that intersection. Research wise at least with patients is really on the like patients with uncertainty side of things but Lord knows we all had plenty of experience with our personal patients personally and I certainly have as well. I don't have kids. So that's one that I think is like a constant test for most people of interpersonal patients that I don't have a very energetic dog that occasionally test me social connection and social support or of course like wildly important for wellbeing. All the time was in fact just teaching a graduate seminar this morning and we were talking about relationships and social support end really digging into the fact that those are so threatened during this period of time when most of us are relatively isolated and so one of the things that I think is really key is finding those ways to connect to others and to sort of feel that sense of connection where it might not be. It's interesting too. I think even find that social connections with TV show characters can actually service surrogate as well for people. So your Netflix. Binge actually could be a really healthy thing to do right now. I think the research actually supports it meets a lot of those social needs. And so you know I think so. Often we poo poo on media and consumption of video games and TV shows. And things like that but I think in this kind of time in particular is really an amazing tool that we can use to help ourselves into kind of replenish and feel connected. Even if we can't be with real people find it kind of tricks the brain and with that with interpersonal patients. We haven't been able to look at it a ton yet but I think we do show that the ability to empathize with others seems to enable you to be patient with other people so if you realize oh there's a reason they're being difficult. It's a whole lot easier to then extend grace and not be upset by them and I would say that consuming novels. Tv shows actually can really help build your empathy skills. Because you're following this story and kind of takes you step by step and how to relate to other people and so even if you're not around people during this time especially those who are all by themselves you can be building your patients just spy building your empathy and engaging with narratives that are really compelling and practicing connecting with characters. And it's fun. I was GONNA ask you when you're talking about flow before we were talking about video games. I was GONNA ask about Netflix. Although since. Abc News is owned by Disney. I should say Disney plus or flood that flow activity. Not generally so binging Netflix. Though I completely agree with Sarah that it might serve other functions and it's relaxing and if you're doing it with someone of course that's another bonding experience as well but in terms of flow. I would say most TV and movies and even books they just don't get quite there and people challenged me and others on this all the time. Even I have thought a lot about this because I love reading novels and I can. You know lose time. It certainly has that piece of it if I'm really into a good book or a great TV show. But what? I at least have found that research on flow would be consistent with this is that it's great if you're doing okay. If your mind is relatively clear quiet than a good book good. Tv show. Yeah it can be really a positive experience in lots of different ways. But if your mind is spiralling out and you're ruminating or worrying and it is just a mess up their mind at least will speak for myself is very capable of continuing to do that while I'm watching. Tv or reading a book and it really a bummer. Because then it also ruins the fun thing I was trying to do and so I think that again. It's I'm certainly an advocate of entertaining yourself. However you can in these moments but if what you're looking for is to quiet your mind to pass the time quickly you might actually think a little more creatively about what is not maybe as obviously relaxing but is more engaging and that might be a better option. Sarah you were talking about empathy as a tool for interpersonal patients. Who have either of you look at loving kindness practice as way to boost empathy or I think more technically accurately compassion? Yes we actually included some loving kindness. Meditations in our patients training program and so those that was a component of what was effective for people to increase their patients and I think loving kindness practice is so powerful too because it builds connections. You realize how you are part of a bigger hole. That's not necessarily think intent but at least for myself as I've done it. I realize it kind of puts that transcendent on the map for you that I'm one small piece I start with myself and then realizing I'm part of this giant universe with people that I love but also some enemies but kind of all of nature and that I find for myself that kind of leads to some moral elevation even after I do it for a while and I think it kind of secretly gets that transcendent element into the practice of patients and helps. You realize this isn't just for me. This is something much bigger than me and actually feeling love and compassion and positive things for other people in the world. That aren't just me really helps with building that empathy and saying I feel like the center of my own universe but I am not the entire universe and that there's other people and creatures and all kinds of animals and all kinds of things that we need to be considering that makes it a whole lot easier to deal with the dog that sparking in the middle of the night in contrast. Interestingly the one way that I've used loving kindness. Meditation in my research is actually like the control comparison group and the reason is because again the kind of patients that I look out are the sorts of struggles that I look. aren't really as much interpersonal. They're very much in your own mind. And so when? We were starting to think about the role of mindfulness and specifically mindfulness meditation and making waiting a little easier. We thought okay well. What's basically the same as mindfulness meditation in every way in terms of the breathing and the relaxation and the sitting in the contemplating but doesn't necessarily as much at least have the present moment. Non Judgmental thought piece of it which is where. I really think that it's useful for waiting when we're waiting for something or feeling uncertain. There's just a lot of mental time travel. You're kind of zigging back and forth like I should've studied more for that test. So my Gosh what's GonNa Happen if I fail? No no and so- mindfulness is really well suited to shutting that mental time. Travel down a little bit and keeping you in the present moment and also to be more aware of what your worries are what your donations are and so again whereas loving kindness has benefits not as well suited to that situation and so when we say in our lab. Mindfulness Meditation is good for waiting. It's actually in contrast to loving kindness meditation. Which didn't hurt anybody but didn't help nearly as much interest because I would imagine you could be easier on yourself in the face of all of the uncertainty. That would be a benefit of loving kindness. Meditation you can't waiting for a biopsy or something like that. I can imagine that would be the case. This was with the bar exam so it wasn't quite as liberal life or death at least but yeah those are the only two groups we had that study. So what I'm guessing is that everyone benefited a little bit relative to doing nothing. Maybe in terms of self compassion which obviously is a component of mindfulness as well with the non judgment piece of it. So you know everybody got that boost. But then the mindfulness people also got and these are by the way not practice meditators. This was like ten minutes. Maybe once or twice a week we wanted them doing it every day but of course they did not. That seem that. Mindfulness was even a little bit better and again. I think it's because it does more tackle the sense of mental time travel and worry a bit better than loving kindness. Might wonder too if you think about so if I'm trying to figure out what I should do like I think as individuals are thinking about what practice should I be adopting right now. What do I need today? I think you could think about what are my main struggles. Right now. Is that that I'm stuck in my head and can't get out of this repetitive thought loop and super anxious right so that I think is when you want more than. Maybe just the mindfulness meditation or is that my spouse is driving me nuts and we're just all fighting with each other in the house. Maybe then the loving kindness meditation. Or maybe if they're like. I don't WanNa do this anymore. I think it's done. Why following these rules. I think ben loving kindness. Meditation might be really helpful to realize you're connected to others that you need to act for the sake of others. So I think as people are practicing meditation just thinking about kind of a moment to say what is what is it. I need today. Where am I at checking in and saying okay? Maybe this practice. I imagine if you actually have a community that you talked to about meditating or someone who's guiding you that would be really helpful because we aren't always great at knowing what we need. Probably most of us aren't so that's where it's always good to have someone else you thinking about this with you. I know what I need pretzels. And his new plus exactly but the penguins movie undersea classes so far and the elephant loving their nature. Movies like something. I actually enjoy watching with my daughter. I know I gotTA GET my son off. Scooby Doo and over to the nature movies. That would make my life so much better. I had a question about for UK. You brought up before Tessema. The benefits of pessimism. What are your thoughts? On the balance between optimism and pessimism in the current predicament in which we find ourselves create hushed. I thought a lot about this. I mean I've been thinking about this question. Broadly for like decades. But I've been thinking about it now because most of what I've studied when it comes to the benefits of pessimism period of uncertainty that has a clear end and so what we know with a fair amount of confidence at this point. Is that if you're waiting for something where you know when the news is coming or when the thing is ending then having shifting away from general attitude of optimism to a bit more of a pessimistic mindset and at the moment of truth which could mean moments but also even days or weeks depending on the time course toward the end of it picking up a little bit more of that preparation rather than the optimism is healthy and it does in fact make that news easier to take next good news feel even better and actually even during the moments of feeling pessimistic. If you're doing it in the right timing. It doesn't actually hurt that much. Because it gives you a sense that you're controlling your future emotional states so it can actually reducing diety if what? You're anxious about being flattened by bad news. So it's great for that but for us here we have. This are open ended. Who knows when this ends kind of uncertainty? Some piece of news waiting for its seismic shift in our ability to handle this dominic. Which could happen in a month. Probably not but maybe or two years or never and so then. I really struggle actually good advice in terms of how to manage your expectations. But I do think what I'm doing at least is trying to maintain as much optimism as I can not wildly unrealistic optimism but kind of general sense of like a humans have survived worse than this before we will probably in the end be okay or least most of us will that sort of general positively. I try to do that as much as I can. But then I kind of periodically whatever that means for a person maybe once every few days just kind of check in and like in with myself and kind of make sure am I going to get blindsided. By something here. Insufficiently prepared for I have elderly parents for example and they insufficiently prepared for You know something God forbid to happen to one of them were insufficiently preventing bad outcomes for myself. Do I need to think a bit more about my own preparation by the way I have to pause and say my parents were probably listen to this and they hate when I called. They are useful. Older Age. People are very well and I'm not at all worried about him. I promise but there are things that I feel like. I really am not ready for then. Of course I should think about that and be prepared but then I just don't think that's sustainable over the period of time that we're end without incurring a pretty huge misery so you know. I think my best advice in this bizarre open ended long-term situation is find optimism. Everywhere you can and let pessimism in once in a while just to make sure you're ready for what's coming next. Whatever in the world that as somebody who's employed defensive pessimism throughout his life that actually strikes me as quite reasonable. Are there questions? I should've asked vis-a-vis patients that I failed to ask Most of them important staff agreed. Well I'll do cognitive reframing. If we weren't in this situation I might not have met the two of you. So yes exactly one good benefit to find. Yes thank you both for doing this. Really appreciate it more. Ten percent happier after this better help offers. Licensed professional counselors specialized in a wide array of issues like depression anxiety and grief connect with your professional counselor in a safe private online environment. It's a truly affordable option and listeners can get ten percent off your first month by going to better help dot com slash happier. Fill out a questionnaire to help them. Assess your needs and get matched with a counselor. You'll love okay. Thanks Sarah Kate. Let's bring in Sharon Salzberg. She's the CO founder of the insight Meditation Society and one of the founding teachers of the ten percent happier APP. She's a regular on this show she's also written a bunch of books including real happiness and real love We talk here about how to use meditation to boost patients. We talk about the difference between patients and passivity and we talk about how to be patient with yourself as well as others. Here we go Sharon Salzberg. Well thank you for doing this. Really appreciate it. It's always nice to see you and it's always nice to see too so you've had a chance to read the transcript of the conversation that our listeners will have just consumed. What are your general thoughts on meditation and patients? Meditation makes you more patient and interview. That's it and say to myself in my practice. Felt like nothing was happening. Least them developing some patients which within the Buddhist context is a high virtue. I mean that's not a small thing. It's really very big thing. Actually and of course. It's one of those qualities that so readily misunderstood. It's hard to get even now. This is quotation from the Buddha. That patience is the highest austerity or sometimes translated as it's the highest renunciation and we tend not to like either of those words austerity or enunciation. So it's not that attractive mostly but really. It's considered a tremendous strength. Why well I think it's tied into things like not only tolerance and forbearance but acceptance and perspective It's like I never have raised a child but you are in the process of raising a child and I'm assuming that when your kid is trying to walk and they fall down. They fall down. They fall down and they fall now have frustrated they get or if they just are doing it. But how frustrated do you get? And can you accept? This is the nature of development. That's how things are going to happen. I also think of this story. Joseph Goldstein tells about his mother's she was getting older and as a younger woman she'd been tremendously adventures like he always says she went to India before I did. And she was very bold and audacious and but now this some years later. She's in California and they were taking a walk and he said they got to a place that was the mildest of inclines ahead of them and she freaked out. Like I can't do that too much for me. I can't do that. And he was complaining. Like come on you can do that. Like it's nothing it's an it's really nothing and pressing her and she was just so resistant and then he realized. Oh for her. It's like men Everest. She's seeing things and then he dropped into the way things actually were in that moment. Not holding onto the expectation of the past and then real relationship can happen in that moment and so he had to become patient with the the reality. I have aging parents. You don't you've met my parents. And I continuously having to remind myself that I'm not interacting with the MOM or dad that I remember interacting with the MOM and dad. That are here right now. And that. I don't know if it's patients or wisdom or chess practicality but it's incredibly useful very touching stories about people whose parents has dementia and they say Was Mom and you know. Maybe the dads his mom and the now adult child says well. She's in a nursing home in Dad freaks out an hour later. Yes it again and and you know. The Sun is like insistent. You've gotta see things as they are. You know And dead can't do it so like the billions time. They say she went to the store or something. And just like okay. Here we are. This is a different reality. So Do you find that meditation? I mean do you ever get impatient to? Has It worked for you after all these years? I'm better I am a lot better. I mean it has a lot to do with you know view as a meditation teacher if you're teaching a brand new student and they are full of doubt. Is this worth doing? You know you have to understand. This is the process. This is just how people feel and it's genuine. It's important to express and it's not really fair to say I've had an answer. That question seventy thousand times and you know I also visionary quality in that sense in that can have a sense of this is now for this person and it may well be that they grow and they change and it's not always going to be this way. It's not fair to them to just categorize them as like a certain kind of person Zeltser experienced now. Or that's what they're relieving right now and that's been a beautiful evolution as a teacher is kind of allowing people to unfold at their own pace in that superimposing. My own timetable on them. Or I think for anybody who's got a friend WHO'S SUFFERING. And maybe self destructive in terms of habits and things like that course is urgency in our wish that they change but there also needs to be kind of patience as you know their life is not unfolding on our timetable. Too Bad right but that's also the reality of things. What is the mechanism by which meditation and this is a tricky question because there are different types of meditation? What's the mechanism by which it develops this quality of patients for us? Well I think with mindfulness practice which is designed to help bring us closer to the experience. That's actually happening and notice pretty quickly. Our assumptions are Annan's and our interpretation our projection into the future. Once we can see those Moore's they are arising we have the chance of letting go of them and without those like hurry up mom or you know. Why aren't you the way you were fifty years ago? Then we can less drop into how things are and that is the quality. Patience is that kind of acceptance acceptance is a funny word to because it doesn't mean you're enjoying the way things. Are you know that you're delighted? That great you know mom. Kim Woke up the hill anymore. Or you'RE GONNA you're complacent apathetic. It's not that either. But it's being so close to reality that that's the basis of what you say and do is the truthfulness of that and with loving kindness practice. I think we which is near. Different methodology actually step into a different realm. That may be less familiar to us than being nasty to ourselves in having super perfectionist unrealistic standards and judging ourselves by them and we step into a realm of practicing what it's like to be kind to ourselves or to others and so here to get to see those habits first of all justice habits but also not the only alternative that they can be very strong there where we tend to live. Maybe but it's not. The only way of seeing things and the other way of seeing things are approaching ourselves and others is not stupid you know. It's not just it's an anyway phony. It's just different. Let me Pick these apartment. I want all talk about mindfulness. First and then we'll go to love and kindness. I'm a big fan of both as you know. It's actually your fault that I'm a big Hannibal. Yes yes I do exhibit a lot of patients over the years so on. Mindfulness I am not a patient person. I am rushing all the time and I noticed this is one of the things I have to be patient with myself about the more self awareness. I have courtesy of meditation. The more I noticed how much I am rushing and I feel it is like a burning or buzzing very uncomfortable buzzing in my chest if I'm paying attention and it's even here a little bit right now what I have to do this. And we're gonNA where what am I gonNA fit in a workout? And what am I gonNA fit in some meditation today and Blah Blah Blah and then with the training of meditation? That you've helped teach me I notice it and then kind of Blow it a kiss and let it go and it just comes back over. You have to keep doing that. It's not magic but it's better than just being owned by it all the time am I describing the process accurately to you you. I never suggested you blow. Something kissed. Wouldn't dare so it's a weird die added. That aren't really impressive. Like last time I spoke to you. Use The word heart and I immediately shivers like. Oh I said heart definitely. Even that suggested you blow wow. This is great. Well you know with that sort of reflexive utterance on my part of blow something a. Kiss is actually the result of the combination of mindfulness practice and love and kindness practice. That's how it's showing up for me instead of just seeing the rushing Kinda gritting my teeth noting it and quote unquote letting go. I think what's happened over. Time with adding a lot of love and kindness practice in is that I actually view it. Was You know this is I think her jet cornfields say this the other day? This is just the organism however unskillful e trying to protect itself. You know this is an old program in here and I should give it some respect. It's yeah sometimes it's useful not very often but it's not trying to mess me up. It's actually trying to do the opposite now. I think it's a great attitude to have toured. What may be Things that are hindering us in the end. You know at least for now not feel embarrassed about what we're thinking you know putting ourselves down for A. Hey Okay you know you can take arrests. That's Okay Yeah. I think that's the perfect description of the process because a lot of old habits arise and one of the things. I've gotten a lot from meditation practice. Which may be fits in is the value of a moment of coming back or releasing even if it has to be done again again because that's the kind of thing that one might easily decry like. Oh I blew it. You Know I. I ended up running to get to the Meditation Krishnan. Sin All out of breath because those rushing to meditate but within that there are moments of saying. Take a brass. Just relax you know. And then we get caught up again and then we relax again or we step back. We have some spacious news. We have some perspective. We get caught up again. Mostly people put themselves down because of ultimately they did run to get the meditation Kushner's Exact but every single moment when we step back when we kind of regroup when we recover is very valuable moment because that's really planting seeds of being able to do it again again and it's not nothing really to be able to let go of really burdensome pattern of thinking and just be in the moment even if it doesn't last for six hours. I WanNa make sure I understand that so we may catch ourselves having rushed or been impatient. Either well standing on line. Hopefully socially distanced at the supermarket or waiting on the phone line for the unemployment office to finally pick up or you know having been impatient with somebody with whom we're locked down all the forms of impatience that are available to us in their many. We might catch ourselves being patient in those moments. Tell ourselves a story about how we're never going to stop being impatient. But actually if we've got a little mindfulness onboard first of all. That's what's allowing us to ourselves and there may have been little moments throughout the alleged rushing. Where actually you did catch it midstream. And and so. Actually you're there's ten percent twenty percent thirty percent less momentum to the rushing during the time when you thought you were rushing and those those moments being able to realize what's going on to begin again to come back to your aspirations come back to your values come back even just to your breath which actually functions they way if you come back to your breath you off do come back to your values and what you really want more than anything and and then you get lost again you know. Usually we only focus on the moments we get lost but in fact growth and progress happened through those other moments even though they don't last long and so that has also helped me be patient because in the beginning that was the most ludicrous thought in the world to me. You know like you know yesterday can only be with three breaths. Surely I should be with eighteen breasts today before my mind wanders and tomorrow before the eight and then you know and that's the way we tend to think but to be instructed that the most important thing is the moment after your mind has wandered after. You've completely blown it after you've gotten lost. How do you recover? How do you come back and come back again and again and again and again? It's not a waste of time. It doesn't mean you're doing it wrong. Megyn you're right and to me. That's where the loving kindness practice which I will have said this in my introduction to you you've been the premier purveyor of this kind of practice in the west and that's been it's an amazing service you've done The loving kindness practice is key is an intertwining with mindfulness. Because it's the moment of waking up. That is the key moment in mindfulness. But that I think there is so much subtler not so much not so subtle aversion self laceration judgment braided through those moments for most of us. But if if you've got the warming up of the mind loving kindness practice on board as well then when you wake up you can recognize. This is just a pattern. It is trying to help me. This is this anger. I'm feeling right now is in my case like inserted by my grandfather probably and but maybe I can see it warmly because it is trying to protect me and here we go back to the breath. Yeah no exactly and I think that's why when I started teaching Living Highness practice in the West it was one thousand nine hundred five and a lot of people were kind of resistant felt flowery or like a feel good practice or as. I sometimes say it was like a girly practice you know and and I think it took a while I mean I had just had a three-month experience in Burma of only doing loving fans practice in very immersive intense way so I saw within myself how it affected my self judgment and my fear and my sense of isolation and it was radical and important for me and so on I came back and started teaching it and I met fair amount of resistance and judgment. I just thought about like having is important and it's been of course gratifying to me and all kinds of ways over the years to see really. It's exactly what you said that it's not that easy to be mindful. Look what we're asking people. Now this time sit with your anxiety. Sit with your grief. Sit with his massive uncertainty and be with all in a different way S. Not that easy but it's such a tremendous strength. When even for a little bit of time we can do that. Because that's what we're actually feeling you know and and to be able to be with all of those feelings that hating ourselves forward or feeling ashamed of it on the one side or being completely overcome and defined by its that were were choking. You know it's too much not falling into that either and finding that place in the middle which is how. Mindfulness is sometimes defined. I think all the loving kindness we can use will really help us. It's interesting right there in your story of having come back from India in nineteen eighty five and started to teach you know loving kindness meditation in the West and running into all sorts of obstacles in judgment even in the lovey-dovey a Buddhist world there's patients in that patients with the people with whom you are interacting in patients with yourself to maybe get over. Whatever doubt you were experiencing in the face of the doubts raised by others etcetera etcetera. So it's kind of that story proves the point in and of itself. Thank you and I think one of the things I like about really exploring patients is that it can seem so passive and that you're not gonNA keep acting or you're not gonNA protest or take a stand. It's like should we be feeling patients toward people who are walking around. New York City streets without a mask. I'm thank we. We don't want to be consumed with ill-will we need perspective. We need understanding but I think people need to act in some way whether it's a government official with a regulation or I understand hands in New York that the commentaries rather colorful when somebody's walking with Adam and that other people are taking it upon themselves to New York way to express themselves and I think that's appropriate. That's correct but okay. That's an interesting case study because I know you're saying that patience is not blind acceptance or resignation passivity but there are I suspect wholesome and unwholesome ways to act. So you. Using a bunch of expletives At somebody WHO's not wearing a mask is is is that kosher or is there a way to do it? That makes sense well. There's always a way to do it. I mean that that's more skillful. I was just amused. Because I've some New Yorkers I know are claiming that with pride you know like but you know you don't have to do that with ill will and hatred. That would be really good idea and zero far more skillful ways acting in most situations. And if we're mindful enough we can discern what they are. We do the best that we can but you know. I just found that rather amusing because I miss New York so well I can tell you. I Know Europe in in central Massachusetts I'm here in New York. It is it's weird. It's it's kind of a nightmare. I'M NOT GONNA lie to you. Just I mean I'm not gonNA give up on New York City. actually And I know you're not either but It's just it's hard you know every everybody's wearing masks. It's just a strange situation. Go to the store and they've got plexiglass everywhere and yeah. It's it's weird but let's keep going with this patients and interpersonal relations. Because I mean there's the sort of level of being frustrated with people who are not taking social distancing seriously as we would like them to the politicians we see on TV but then there's also people that were locked down with And so how would love and kindness and or mindfulness help us with forbearance but not passivity in those moments I think it's many levels. One is the way we learn to communicate which is not condemning. Hopefully you know like instead of saying you're an idiot. I can't believe you're always leaving the laundry on the floor whenever you put away the dishes wet and whatever that irritant might be. It's actually it sounds so hackneyed cliche. But it's actually expressing your feelings. It's using I language like I was really concerned when they went to get my bowl for cereal. In the middle of the night having worked constantly and it had all this moisture in it. You know freaked out about fungus or whatever. I find those things also difficult and annoying you know because they seem so formulae but learning to and that takes tremendous patience to be willing to express things in a way that are actually more vulnerable and therefore more honest like I wanted I hoped for I would be so gratified if you know whatever it's much easier to set your an idiot and you never show up and you don't take care of anything but if you are willing to do that that's a whole other level of communication and then. I think there's a certain understanding even as we ask for something even as we try to make a change in some way that people really visit another cliche so I hate said but people really are doing the best that they can and my colleague. Sylvia Burstein twenty. Now you've talked to recently always used to say that when we were teaching together and I think he'll come out Sylvia like really and she's saying the people are doing the best that they can. Actually I read a quote from maybe my Angelou. Who said when you know better you do better and that was a form that I felt. Oh right you know same for me when I know better. I do better and I think even just holding that vision as your lockdown somebody or you're in communication with them even as you express what you want what you need what. You'd like to see how things might change. It's having that understanding really people kind of aren't doing the best that they can. Let's help them do better if we can. I think for me I have that understanding intermittently but what has helped me boost that bedrock understanding which then you know level up to informing how you actually act. Is that in the practice of loving kindness. Which you're whatever it's a little bit clunky on some levels but so is lifting weights You're kind of systematically envisioning people and then sending these phrases may be happy may be safe healthy live with these or maybe from suffering depending on the flavor of love and kindness. You're doing or the flavor of Brahma Viagra that you've chosen in doing that over and over and over again you kind of just your training up the basic understanding that this is a human being and you have your training up your capacity to see the best in them to want the best for them and just when I need it. Sometimes that shows up for me not always but sometimes I did a Webinars I guess you'd call it for international humanitarian aid workers a few weeks ago and these are people really people from all around the world who arn devastating conditions often and they can't work in their work as like a mission. They can't get into the refugee camps right. Now or their funding has evaporated and and these are activists and they can't act and so there were in lockdown views all around the world and there is a whole level of dismay themselves which was like an add on. You know I shouldn't be this frustrated. Less should've should find a way where it can make a difference. I should you know here I am an. It's hard with my family and it shouldn't be that way. And was that whole other level. That actually was the most immediate burden in a way that was that was extra and they had had a workshop. Couple of weeks before with Parker Palmer. The educator great human being and at the end of his workshop with them. He had everyone on meet themselves. They could all hear one another and he had everyone say both to themselves and one another welcome to the human race so they asked me if I could think of a another one. You know pithy slogan to end my time with them and I kinda like that one you know L. Good encapsulated it. All welcome to the human race we are so. That's that has the potential to be understood in an Omni Directional Way. Like you can say that to yourself when you're noticing something about yourself you don't like but you can say to yourself about other people when they're behaving in ways that you know patients all around patients all around one last thing to ask you about and I'm thinking of your neighbor up there in central Joseph he's got this whole rap and I'm sure you have your own too but it's his is just coming up in my mind right now and this is more on the mindfulness meditation tip of using rushing in our practice in in our life as a feedback to pull ourselves nomin Can You bring your own perspective? Talk about that because I think it's a great tactic. Yeah I mean when I did the podcast with you after a gotten out of the hospital last year when I had sepsis and it was really sick and I told you the story about how the first time I got up to walk was Unin Walker up and down the hospital. Carter's as one does and had a physical therapist with me and at one point she said to me. It's not a race. You know you'll get a lot further if you just stop now and then and take a break and that became my mantra because I realized a lot of times. I'm just like recent it's lead described. You know this morning I gotta get this done. What's next thing just like you know? There's so much to do and have to take care of everything and I realize I'd get a lot. Further effect would stop now and then and not just being this forward propulsion all the time and so when I moved to my friend's house where I stayed for another two months and you know walk every day outside I with a Walker and then with Kane and just walking and that really was my mantra. I would stop you know when I had like a physical therapist with me leads. This way actually stopping. I said because I'm taking a break and then and then I'm going to go on and so that's one way of doing it. You know it's certainly recognizing that internal feeling of amway ahead of myself. I'm not actually embodied or present in this moment and just coming back you can actually take a break if that helps and just kind of regroup and then then go forward again. Joses point is that you can move quickly but not rush you know that is a certain sensibility to a certain sense of being ahead of yourself. That doesn't mean you have to like just creep around you know and never moved quickly. Never have a long to do list of things to accomplish. You can. But I'd watch out for that internal sense because actually lose focus even presence balanced and you lose insight. You know. We're just getting the thing done really work that well so it's interesting so just as acceptance doesn't mean passivity resignation patients doesn't mean you're scaling back your ambitions or your pace to some point. That's glacial don't think it. Does I know you Miss New York you WANNA rejoin the human race? All of that requires patients. How're you doing with because I think that's a level of patients that are researchers talked about you know they talked about in the moment patients with you know waiting on hold or waiting online interpersonal patients? And then the sort of the macro patients required to get through this desire. We all have to have this thing and so we can get back to quote unquote normal How are you doing with that? Level of patients say because I know you love being out and doing. I'm a strange one that way for minutes later. Well I think it's the same skill I've been practicing forever which is not easy to do but it's really useful in. It works on moment to moment basis. Which is when I start adding a future conceptualization in the useless way. Like what's IT GONNA be like if I can't get back to New York even by September? Not only am I here in the country with a lady bug infestation century life but like my partner were you know and it's impossible to know it's impossible to deal with right and it only produces a kind of angst you know because. I'm not only living the reality of now. I'm living the most grim possibilities of the future for me because that's where one's mind tends to go. We don't think A. In happy delight like everything safe. I'm going to get back to New York and my life is going to be as rich as intricate as it once was and I'm going to be able to go to the theater and is just like maybe out. Can you actually write a play? It's like that's not where my mind goes rate. It's like Oh no you know it's like that future and even though everything is unknown it's the worst possible image of the future and I'm trying to bare it all at once and it's impossible so I mean I think if you go back to Richie Davidson's research on physical pain. How the difference between meditators and non meditators all ineffable machines as he's inducing. Some kind of pain is that when the pain was withdrawn. The non meditators with flip into a cycle of anticipation. When's it coming back? My Ruby Morris. How bad it will be and so. They never got any rest. They never got any respite. Theme never got a break whereas meditators might have had as one does as a human being reunion. Say an animal of reaction to the pain when the pain was withdrawn they had some peace and they could just return to what actually was and is kind of the same mechanism. You know. That cycle of anticipation is usually dreadful. And it's unreal. You know if it's one thing if grappling with the kind of reality you can have to deal with part by part but it's just inches the patient and so the patients comes from seeing. Wow that's just being lost in a world I have created and you either say let's create another world you know with great an alternative or you come back an coming back and to your breath to your bobby to this moment to connection with those around you. There's something very complete in that moment. Because of the nature of the connection you know the context is very full and that brings its own kind of relief yet does and then you just have to do it over and over and over that takes patients too because you do have to do it over and over and over again. Some great quotation from the Buddha is said something like I think the literal quotations goodness but the way I usually described as the mind will get filled with qualities like mindfulness and loving kindness. Moment by moment the way bucket will get filled with water. Drop by drop and I love that image from the first time I heard. 'cause right away could imagine myself standing by that bucket. Either looking in and thinking isn't going to be great when it's filled and I'm floating down the streets and wearing white sorry. I'm completely enlightened but not bothering to add the next up which is this moment or very easily standing by the bucket and looking at it and thinking it's really empty as a bleak picture and again not bothering to add the next stop. Which is this moment. And since I started using the example and teaching people have come to me with these different iterations like standing by the bucket your bucket and not even looking in it but looking over the next bucket thinking. Oh that's a lot of people come up to me. I think my bucket has a whole these buckets. Don't get holes really. It's just the next drop in the next drop in the next drop. That's pretty good place to leave it. I think I really appreciate you doing this. I know you we call on short so thank you for for green too though. He's a pledge. I'm actually seeing US afternoon to. This is my Dante. Are we overdoing page live together? Oh Nice awesome this is. That's really good news. Yeah let's Great. Thanks Sharon big. Thanks to the team who work incredibly hard to make this. Podcast happened Samuel. John's our captain producer or Sound designers are met Boynton and Anya Chesapeake of ultraviolet audio and Maria were tell our production coordinator. We derive of wisdom from our colleagues such as a Toby. Jen Plant and then Ruben also big. Thank you to our. Abc compadres Ryan Kesler and Josh Cohen. We'll see on Wednesday. We got a great episode my Old Pal and just mentor and in meditation and many other important things the psychiatrist and author Dr Mark Epstein. See you Wednesday.