Regarding your decision for change, decide to become more aware. Do your best to find that moment of choice just before an uncontrollable reaction. Sometimes this will be easy, such as when the situation is complex and needs a bit of thought.
Other reactions are almost instantaneous. We can understand these instantaneous reactions if we think of secretarial shorthand. Symbols are used to express many words. In the same way a situation can ‘squash up’ the sentences we repeat to ourselves. This ‘squashing up’ has the effect of intensifying the associated emotions, and the eruption is immediate, rather than built up over time.
If we could slow the process down, we would find that the things we say to ourselves are still there, and so too are the ways this makes us feel (or indeed how we make ourselves feel!) – hence the powerful reactions we sometimes have. By teasing apart and slowing down the events leading up to the reaction, we will see that even this “uncontrollable” reaction is, actually still under our control.
Anger is a good example of a situation where the moment of choice is difficult to recognise. After all, if someone makes us angry, we get angry – there is little choice! It may become a little easier if we consider the distinction between someone making us angry, and getting angry as a result of something someone does. The difference is more than semantic – it relates to control and responsibility. We may think that something or someone makes us angry, but the reality is that we make ourselves angry by our perception of what is happening – and here, at this point, we most certainly do have a choice.
We can choose (once we have learnt) how to respond to situations, and in this way we can accept the responsibility for ourselves, thereby regaining control.
There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”. Download chapter 1 free now!