Take a few minutes to stop what you are doing and focus your attention onto the flow of thoughts in your mind. Pay particular attention to thoughts that have an emotional charge, such as an impulse to get angry, to become irritated or frustrated. Most of the time, we find ourselves compelled to react whenever these kind of thought-impulses arise. Somehow, we are convinced that we have to become angry if that drive cuts in front of us, or disappointed if a project fails, or worried about our finances. But the truth of the matter is that there is absolutely no law that says that we have to react that way and suffer accordingly. The reason we suffer is because we have become slaves to our negative thoughts, beliefs and conditioned emotional reactions. They run our lives not through choice but through ignorance and unawareness.
We need to regain choice about what we want to feel in our lives.
This is the first step in Mindfulness Meditation Therapy, which I teach throughout the world through Online MMT therapy and counseling (www.mindfulnessmeditationtherapy.com). Link to by website available on my Profile.
You have to take charge and learn to see reactions as they arise throughout the day and then STOP right there and do not allow yourself to become seduced into reacting further. Say "Thanks, but no thanks. I choose not to go down that path right now."
Learning to STOP is the first step on mindfulness practice, and can make all the difference as a practice all by itself. The next step that I teach during personalized Online Mindfulness Meditation Therapy is more involved and is about developing a relationship with the thought-impulse or emotion that arises.
This relationship is characterized by a genuine heartfelt openness and compassion for each reaction, tempered by objectivity and the wisdom of not allowing yourself to become caught up in the storyline of the reaction. As long as you maintain that therapeutic space of mindfulness, nothing can harm you.
Now, if you respond to your compulsive emotions with kindness and give them lots of space, then they will respond by unclenching, unwinding and becoming malleable like moist clay. Mindfulness is the healing energy that moistens that which is brittle and hard. Many compulsions will heal themselves if you don't proliferate further reactivity. Give them lots of space and they will dissipate by themselves.
Cultivate and sustain this spacious quality of mindfulness with your anger, irritation, disappointment, hurt, anxiety, worry and each of the many stress-producing reactions and you effectively neutralize the whole reactive process. If you stop feeding the stress reactions with reactive thinking they will lose their momentum and begin to dissolve away. They become irrelevant and before long you will wonder what all the bother was about.
What you are doing is learning to neutralize your habitual reactivity by cultivating awareness of each reaction, and in this simple awareness you create space in which emotions can defuse themselves and resolve.
Stress is the product of negative habitual reactions to life events, and as you blindly repeat these learned reaction they become habitual. Through mindfulness training you are cultivating a new and more positive response based on mindfulness, the Mindfulness Response, and establishing new habits that defuse stress and allow more creative thinking and problem-solving. The Mindfulness Response grows quickly through repetition, and every time you touch suffering with mindfulness you strengthen the path towards inner freedom from suffering and stress.
Visit my website if you would like to learn more and schedule a session with Dr Peter Strong, the founder of Online Mindfulness Meditation Therapy.