This is a lot more overwhelming and “threatening” to the system compared to simply observing that we are experiencing pain in this moment alone.
This pause allows the signals to be processed differently in the brain and helps stop the unnecessary racing thoughts, or rumination, that can often lead to unhealthy coping skills. This new approach to living does not come easily because it is unfamiliar to what we are used to. When we practice something unfamiliar, our error-detection signal is triggered, which can lead us to questioning new or different coping skills as being helpful or not. The mind’s error-detection signal is there to let you know when you are doing something unfamiliar. There is no judgment in this process. It is not saying something is “right” or “wrong”, but rather “familiar” or “unfamiliar”. For example, did you ever try to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand? If you try this, your mind will start to talk to you asking you, “why are you doing what you are doing? This is silly! Go back to doing what you’re used to doing!” That is your error-detection system in your brain!
You may experience this in the beginning process of learning and practicing mindfulness because the “being” mode is unfamiliar. Don’t worry about this happening. In fact, expect it to happen! Know
that this will dissipate with practice. The more you practice something, the more familiar it becomes. The more familiar it becomes, the less your error-detection signal will speak up.