Tracking emotions with kinesthetic memory

by eugman 8y14th Dec 20119 comments


I've been trying to manage my negative thoughts and I've stumbled on an interesting technique. In order to increase my mindfulness of my ruminations and my thoughts. I started making a check mark on a piece of paper when I had specific thought. I didn't feel like I had the emotional strength to battle every thought, but at least making a little checkmark was easy. Then, deciding I wanted to do this anywhere, I started instead making a quick checkmark gesture with my pointer finger.

The results have been interesting. One effect is I can now more easily sense the heartbeat of my mood. Usually, I could tell how I was feeling at any one time, but I never noticed the flow of things. But with gestural movement, I can remember how often I've been doing it. I can also see if I'm doing it every few minutes or every few seconds.

There's another result that's very interesting and offsetting. Sometimes, the movements are semiautomatic. This fits in with a modular theory of the brain, I think. So, I'll have a fleeting negative thought, reflexively make the gesture, and go "Oh, I just had a negative thought, I didn't notice that. Maybe I should do something." It feels a little strange from the inside.

So, just something that was interesting to me. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or interesting information.