From Button Pushing

Choose Wisely

Dealing with the unexpected isn’t easy, especially for some people. It can compound anxiety and make you say and do things you may later regret. Some people choose to complain, get angry, and carry on.There’s nothing wrong with that – but there’s a time limit on how long that can be productive. If the driver in front of you doesn’t move fast enough or you get your food cold – complaining and whining will make you feel better and like you got it out of your system for a finite period of time. But then you have to choose when to let it go. That’s the secret – choosing when to let it be and accepting it for what it is.Particularly, when you can’t change whatever is bothering you immediately or when in the big scheme of things, it really isn’t such a big deal. Ignoring the signals that your complaining is no longer productive, can have bad effects on you and those around you.

What we fail to see is that most of life is about how we handle the unexpected, the things we didn’t see coming, the things outside of our control. It can define us. And if we aren’t careful, we may miss the hidden good things any unexpected situation may bring.

So the next time something happens that you didn’t expect, take a deep breath, ask yourself if you can change the situation immediately or not, think hard to see if there may be something good that comes out of it, and then choose your reaction (and how long to react) wisely.

Dear July Part 3: Life Lessons Learned This Month

Don’t Blink.

Do you remember the last time someone pushed your buttons and you lost it?  Most people do.  You remember where you were and what you were doing.  Recalling that has to do with a short circuit track in the brain that goes through something we call the amygdala.  It’s a very small part of the brain but one that plays a big part in emotional self-control.  It has the ability to highjack you and disconnect what your mouth is saying from your brain.  Some people can feel it coming.  It’s like a tea kettle when it starts to sing.   The ‘tracks’ in the brain that account for that are well-oiled and once that train gets rolling, there’s no turning back.  At least that’s how it feels.  But if you think about it, there is something you can do.  You can predict where that button is, who can push it, and when the short circuit is about to get triggered.  Like anything else, if you can predict it, you can probably prevent it.  Try not blinking.  It focuses the brain on doing something completely different to disengage and distract it from triggering that reaction with your mouth.  It’s also less obvious, requires less effort, and keeps your face from showing what you’re really thinking.  Next time someone or something pushes your buttons – don’t blink.