Disco Dialogues
Disco Chats with Kinnari & Mitali
Conversations on mental health

Conversations on mental health

Q: How do you face problems arising from your mind?

This week we are also experimenting with YouTube as our podcast platform. You can either click on the purple button and listen on Substack or click on the play button on the image above to listen on YouTube.

Our conversation today is with a family member Ritu and a friend and colleague Albert about the practices they use to get out of their head.

Ritu Parekh is an artist who allows her creative spirit to express itself through multiple mediums including weaving, painting and gardening. She shares some of her thoughts on how she notices when her mind is leading her astray and how she uses her hands to ground herself and get her out of her head. Check out some of her art pieces on her Etsy shop - WeavinStories.

Albert Ching is an old colleague who has had multiple careers spanning tech, urban design and climate tech. He is a recent father who is experimenting with writing kids books to pass on his life lessons to his child. Albert talks about how he uses his senses to bypass the Conscious Critical Faculty of his brain to get to his subconscious mind. 

Another technique to get out of our heads is using our natural physiology - breathwork - to self regulate and positively impact our internal state in real time.

“...Our breath is perhaps the only activity in our body that happens on its own that can also be consciously controlled. Yet it is rare for most of us to inquire how our breath is or consciously control it. Why does this matter? Because how we breathe impacts how we feel, how we show up in the world, and even the types of thoughts that arise.”

Image credit: BMJ

Two automation recipes that you can use to up or down-regulate—i.e., activate or calm—your nervous system in real-time are shared in this article

  1. If [lethargic or sleepy] then [espresso breath]

  2. If [anxious or overwhelmed] then [breath of calm]

“...the common strategy is to attempt to think our way out of the stress. You may be familiar with tactical mindfulness, cognitive reframes, or thoughts of loving-kindness to change your state of mind. These act as top-down interventions for throwing a wrench into the negative thought spiral. 

However, it’s possible—and more effective—to shift your breathing pattern to generate calmer thoughts and feelings….So-called bottom-up interventions—or practices that leverage our physiology by consciously shifting our respiratory or visual systems—are 4x more effective at altering our blood chemistry and, therefore, shifting our state.”

Disco Dialogues
Disco Chats with Kinnari & Mitali
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