You know what I mean:
- all is well and then a driver cuts you off in traffic and you are overcome with anger
- you go to sleep peacefully and wake up “on the wrong side of the bed” and emotions are threatening to ruin your day
- your best friend said something and you imagine the worst to the point of deep sadness or sorrow over the loss of the friendship
What you may not realize is that you always have choice in situations like these. The message from your emotional body is just that: a message. The actions you take could come from a very intentional place of choice.
Consider this simple practice the next time your emotions flare:
- Stop. This might mean that you pull the car over or sit in a chair and invite your runaway thoughts and emotional energy to settle.
- Breathe. Take five deep breaths. With each one imagine breathing in peace and breathing out the anger or sadness or fear or projecting the worst.
- Rest. Let yourself simply be in the place of calm you have created.
- Choose. From this less emotionally charged spaced, discern how you will proceed.
What is the impact of emotional reactivity?
What is the power in responding from calm?
What will you choose?