Everyone does it from time to time. Some more than others. Unless you are the Dalai Lama or Eckhart Tolle, who are probably just about perfect. But perhaps they do it too on the rarest of occasions.
Oh…. Reacting is what I am talking about. Everyone, at least occasionally reacts mindlessly out of anger or other negative emotions.
When that happens, whether it’s yelling at stupid drivers or getting snippy with loved ones, or worse, it’s like handing our personal power over to a five-year-old.
Not only is personal power lost, but the risk of embarrassment is exponentially increased.
Credibility is lost if our five-year-old reactive patterns play out in places such as our jobs.
In the worst of cases, legal actions may become a consequence if reactions end up falling outside of legal bounds, such as road rage run amuck.
Fortunately, there is an alternative!
It is entirely possible to become less reactive, and more responsive. In this way, there is freedom of choice and significantly better results no matter what circumstances present themselves.
Gaining the Power of Response
The ability to respond to life, instead of reacting to it from immature, and unhealthy and patterned emotions, is to increase your powers of awareness.
The more aware you become, the more you can pinpoint when emotions such as anger or stress start to take over. This will allow you to stop what you are doing and conduct a quick body scan.
To do a body scan, simply observe what is going on in your body without judging or becoming attached to what you witness. Simply pay attention with an open-minded curiosity.
You might notice that your face feels flushed, your heart is beating faster, your jaw or neck muscles are clenching up, or other sensations of your body are responding to whatever emotions you are feeling.
Whatever you notice during the body scan, just observe and allow it. This will reconnect you to your body and away from whatever is going on that is upsetting you.
When you feel the connection with your body, move on to the SOBER mindfulness method.
Benefits of using the SOBER Mindfulness Method:
How to: The SOBER Mindfulness Method:
→ STOP. Whatever it is that you are doing, just stop for even just one minute, or more if you need to.
→ OBSERVE. Again, observe what is going on inside you with an open minded curiosity and look beneath the surface. Is your anger covering fear or hurt? What is going on inside physically, mentally and emotionally?
→ BREATHE. As you are allowing whatever is going on inside of you, take some deep, slow breaths, as many as you need to in order to calm down.
→ EXPAND. When you have relaxed into your breathing, allow your powers of observation to expand to the multitude of choices that you can make to formulate resolutions to whatever problems are arousing your emotional state.
→ RESPOND. Choose the healthiest response from a place of respect and honor for yourself and others.
If you can’t think of a healthy/productive response, repeat these steps a few more times, or reach out for help. With a little bit of practice, you will soon begin to notice amazing results.