I had a recent experience where someone was absolutely frustrated and angry and hurting. As the nearest person in the area, that anger became directed towards me. At first, I felt my own frustrations rising (just further proof that these negative emotions can be quite contagious).
But realizing that returning the anger would only increase the source of the anger even more, I decided a different tactic. I listened. I replied with good intention. I demonstrated I understood their pain, and their hurt. And despite a bit of pushback, I kept being kind to them.
It worked. Within a few minutes, the anger had subsided and the person was feeling much more calm. They were very appreciative of my response, and I was grateful that I hadn’t just inflamed the situation.
I’m going to keep an eye out for opportunities to combat negative emotions with kindness, and see how well it works in other areas as well. Looking forward to it.
Just yesterday I had received a nasty email from a lawyer. As I read through it, I could feel my blood boiling. I wanted to hit “REPLY” and give them a piece of my mind. But since I started writing again, whenever I find myself getting emotionally reactive, I am curious to find out “WHY?”. It has served me well so far.
Why ask “WHY?”? There are a few benefits I can think of:
- It immediately places a bit of distance between you and reacting. The process of thinking about this could very well give you enough time to cool down a bit.
- Emotions are natural. Anger, frustration, hurt, these are all normal. Trying to understand them can help us uncover the reasons why we do things, which can help us react better in the future.
- Looking for the reasons why we do things triggers our pre-frontal cortex. Rather than looking at things as simply ‘just the way they are’, we treat it like a problem that should be solved. It’s a puzzle, and there’s a bigger picture that needs uncovering. This too could give the necessary space from the problem and the emotion allowing us to deal with it with grace.
- By shining the spotlight on yourself, instead of the subject of your anger, you give yourself the chance to grow and to improve. There is no limit to how much we can improve, and the only person we need to best is the person we were yesterday.
So the next time you feel yourself growing angry, or frustrated, and want to lash out, pause and ask “WHY?” to try to uncover the reason why something triggered that reaction within you. Responding to these situations with calm, grace, self-awareness, and self-love/care not only makes the situation better, but it makes us better humans overall.
Every single one of us have our own struggles to deal with. We worry, we procrastinate, we don’t feel good enough, we wish we had more money.
But when you think about it, every single of these problems is self-created. They’re real, but they are only real because we’ve created them in our minds. We’ve attached ourselves to the way things should be, rather than accepting what is. The Buddha was right when he said desiring and attachment are the primary cause of unhappiness.
It’s all in our heads, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The key is to see life as it is, without all the ideals and fantasies you’ve created in your mind. Let go of all those stressful distractions and just accept and experience the moment.
Considering this, now would be an opportune time to remind of yourself of some hard truths about life that will benefit you in the long run.
Here are 20 truths that you have to embrace!
Source: 20 Inconvenient Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit – Hack Spirit
So what does a morning ritual need to contain to put you in the right frame of mind to be productive? And happy? (Yeah, happy is important. This is a “morning ritual”, not a “mourning ritual.”) Just remember PCO:
Why these three? What do they do? How do you turn these three nouns into a Tyrannosaur of a morning ritual that will make the Earth tremble at your approach?
What does the research say the best morning ritual consists of? Here’s what studies and experts conclude about starting a productive, happy day.
Source: This Is The Best Morning Ritual: 3 Secrets From Research – Barking Up The Wrong Tree
Happiness and success in life depend on ‘soft skills’. In this article, you’ll learn the top 50 soft skills you need to reach your full potential.
Source: 50 Soft Skills for Lifelong Happiness and Success
If you are not sure how to find your passion and whether what you are doing is leading to fulfilling your dreams, here is a technique that can help.
It seems that all we are hearing these days is Follow your passion; Just live your dreams; It’s never too late; or something along those lines.
Yet, no one seems to bother with telling us how to behave if we still haven’t discovered our passion, or it is laying buried beneath our parents or society’s expectations of us. There’s no doubt that once you decide to follow your true passion and know what you want, you will become unstoppable in achieving great things.
However, the struggle most of us face is not knowing what that thing is for us, and we too often end up switching from career to career only to become exhausted and hopeless and feeling stuck in someone else’s dream.
From early on in our lives, we weren’t programmed to make any decisions that are contradicting those of our families, teachers or peers. We are so used to following certain set of rules and programs, that we rarely stop to think how we truly feel about these.
And, sadly, before you know it, we are at work, doing something we are not sure how we feel about, or, even worse, we realize that it is something we don’t enjoy doing at all.
Source: How To Find Your Passion And Struggles You Might Encounter
“The deeper your present moment peace gets, the easier it’ll be to react non- passionately when confronted with hostility. As this gets better, you can begin to realize more deeply just how much someone has to be suffering internally in order to have such harsh reactions. With enough insight, you can develop your empathy and compassion based off this knowledge and these also help you remain even more peaceful in the present moment.
Eventually, with enough compassion and insight on your side, you can begin to extinguish the fires of hostility by extinguishing anger with patience and understanding… It’s hard to continue treating someone harshly when they continue treating you well. In helping them relieve these feelings, you not only help them but you also help yourself, since you no longer have to deal with them as they were.”
Source: A Zen Master Reveals the Giveaway Signs of a Toxic Person and the Most Powerful Way to Deal With Them – Ideapod blog
In a TED talk she gave
, time management expert Laura Vanderkam says that we should all get rid of the idea that we ‘don’t have time’ for something. Instead, she says that we’re better off admitting the reality of the situation is that something is not a priority. And she’s absolutely right.
At the end of her talk, she goes into some depth about the number of hours in a day. Numbers aside, our lives are simply a series of activities that get prioritized over other ones. For example, when we watch TV, we are prioritizing rest over all other things. And its important that we recognize how we are prioritizing things.
We live in busy times. Our phones often keep us connected with work even after we’re not in the office any more. In that way, we aren’t even prioritizing things properly! Here’s why:
When we eat, we’re often watching TV or reading the news. When we should be relaxing, we’re checking our phones. The present moment is constantly lost in a flurry of other things that captivate and capture our attentions. We are prioritizing other tasks over the tasks we should be doing, constantly, all the time!
But Vanderkam is absolutely right. We need to recognize that time is completely in our hands. We control what we prioritize and what we don’t.
Want to write that novel you’ve been talking about (cough, cough, MYSELF)? It’s time to admit that it hasn’t been a priority and find the time to do it. Surely there’s 10 minutes in a day to do this? I could squeeze 10 minutes out of my day if I re-prioritized my time on Facebook for example.
Need to find a half hour to exercise? Think about where you can find new time. Can you cut down on TV watching? Can you cut down on emails? Can you cut down on social media? If you can cut down 10 minutes from each of those, boom, you just found yourself a half hour.
Inspired from Vanderkam’s talk, here are some tips I’m thinking of trying:
- Determine what it is you want more time for (set goals/objectives to give you something to aim for)
- Keep track of all the ways you don’t use your time optimally (and yes, trying to multitask when you should be doing deep work likely slows you down!)
- See what you can shave off to find some extra time (ex: cut 10 minutes down from Facebook)
- Just do it! (and this is the most difficult stage…just doing it! So you may need the most motivational energy at this stage to get going).
- Keep doing it (this is the second most difficult stage, simply sustaining what it is you want to sustain. Once you’ve established a habit, it’s easy, but to turn it into a habit, you’ll need to stay vigilant).
Don’t worry if something takes multiple attempts. Starting and stopping and restarting is better than not having started at all. Even those moments of inspiration at first help you move forward and progress in some way.
So don’t give yourself any excuses. If you’re going to admit something isn’t a priority, then admit it, accept it, and move on. Feeling guilty about something and then not taking action will not help. The “I don’t have time” excuse no longer applies. Don’t let it hold you back from achieving the goals you want to achieve.
In Episode 3 of my podcast, I talked about how we can all learn to unplug for better mental health. In order to do that, we may need to make sure we aren’t stressed out by the possibility of important emails coming through that we’re missing out on. Odds are, we aren’t missing out on too much if we unplug for a while. But in case you need to feel productive before you can unplug, here are some excellent tips to checking and replying to your emails in a more efficient, productive way.
Plug in efficiently, so you can unplug peacefully.
Source: A Mindful Guide to Email in 20 Minutes a Day : zen habits
Check out this amazing article below:
We fill our lives with so many stressors, adding pressure to an already stressful situation. This article lists 10 things to ‘let go’ of which have added considerable happiness in the author’s life.
Check it out below:
I have a newfound sense of freedom since letting these 10 things go. I am more at peace with myself and far happier with my life.
Source: 10 Things I’ve Let Go and How This Has Set Me Free