I listened to a podcast this morning during my work out. The topic of the cast was interesting to me because it directly linked our responses to situations with the theme in our lives. (Something that I am struggling with at this very moment.)
The interviewer brought up a point about whether or not we are lead by compassion and kindness in our lives by discussing something we can ALL relate to: road rage. The question that he tossed out there was: When someone cuts you off in traffic, how do you respond? Do you instantly feel anger toward that person? Like they have somehow deprived you of something because they are now in front of you? They stole your place? Or….do you quietly wonder what has hardened them to feel so deserving? Or hope they aren’t dealing with some emergency? Your initial reaction says a lot however the initial reaction wasn’t even the main topic on the discussion table. Nope, he pressed further as he admitted to being the angry reactor himself. Stating that he knows that he was only slowed by about 15 seconds due to the other driver…but spent his entire 45 minute drive feeling angry, grumpy and irritable…while his wife, who is one that meets those situations with concern and compassion for the other driver, wasn’t ever angry and she was only 15 seconds behind him to their destination with her entire drive being pleasant rather than filled with anger.
We can carry this thought process over to the other areas of our lives by simply understanding that our REACTIONS to other people and situations do indeed set the tone for our lives.
If we find ourselves with reactory anger, frustration and losing our temper we are giving power to a driver we don’t even know to ruin our day and destroy our mood.
Moving into the holidays, stress management is front and center for me. I have found that when I am maybe not as plugged into my own life and its purpose as I should be, it is easier for me to slip into a reaction based thought process rather than one that is in line with how I hope to be traversing the earth.
Take a breath. Count to 5 (or 10…or 50.) and try to respond to situations and to other humans in a way that is in line with the best version of yourself. Not because it’s holiday time, but because you are a great human.