Please excuse me while I overreact irrationally. Something just happened that bothers you. Simple. You have two choices now: React, or rise above it. You can choose inner peace or you can drive the drama bus today. Sure, you can talk back, turn back, and get back at whoever rankled and rattled you today. If you do react emotionally, will the person who hurt you magically respect or love you now?
Do you find yourself getting disproportionately upset, hurt, defensive, or angry often? Are you reacting or overreacting? How do you know? If you rebound or recoil intensely, that does not necessarily mean you overreacted. There are many situations wherein you can feel justifiably angry. But suppose you responded in a bigger way than was called for. Sometimes you gotta tell yourself it’s just not worth the jail time. Just kidding.
There you go again: dwelling on everything that isn’t going your way and barely able to think about anything else. Someone did not smile back at me, or heaven forfend, someone cut me off on my way home from work. Now I am stewing on it all day long. I mean, how dare they. Something simply did not go your way today. And you are in full drama mode: shouting, snapping, and clapping back at anyone in sight. How on earth can we prevent ourselves from losing it, you ask.
Start by knowing what pushes those proverbial buttons of yours. What are your hot spots? Is it when you feel rejected, ignored, or perhaps when others criticize you? Or does it happen simply because you are exhausted, hungry, or even feeling lonely today? Speaking of hunger, my last fortune cookie said: “You’ll have better luck in the next cookie.” Sheesh. Anyway, according to my BMI chart, I’m just too short. Speaking of which, my fitness goal is to get down to the weight I told the DMV that I weigh. Moving right along…
Once you develop some self-awareness, you can work on defusing before you come apart next time. Take a deep breath, sweet friends. That will give you time to realize that you will break your dang remote control if you decide to toss it against the wall. Then again, try taking your remote and do the following: Pause the beautiful moments. Rewind your mistakes. Fast forward through all the heartaches. Stop all the drama, And Push “Play” for the rest. Ta da. Then again, isn’t it a sad day when you realize that your Universal remote control does not in fact control the universe (not even remotely)?
Sure, we get all hot and bothered when things are not exactly how we would like them to be. Turn that beat around. When you are in your room, look around and focus on everything that is clean and actually working well. I know. My room was clean, too; but then I had to decide what to wear. But seriously, if something is broken or out of place, instead of automatically letting it bother you, try seeing it as “interesting” or curious. Out and about? Look for anything that is lovely, luring, or even somewhat different. Look at the flower and say to yourself, “That is beautiful.”
No need for your heart to get involved in everything. After all, its job is to pump your blood, remember? Think less about what is happening around you, and focus more on what is happening inside of you. Ask yourself: How would someone else see this situation and manage it? Please do not stuff your feelings. Emotional leftovers tend to boil over, big time. Express those feelings calmly. Let it out so you can let it go.
May I be very clear here, sweet friends. Choosing not to always respond does not come from avoidance or resistance, but consciously choosing not to. Remember: This is intentional. What do you mean, Caroline? He insulted me and I just don’t answer back? You are responding, my friend: by deciding that a response is simply not necessary. Your peace of mind is. If you are hurt, then get in touch with this by acknowledging your pain. If it is people you trust, you can certainly compassionately communicate with them about it when you are feeling calmer.
Next time you are tempted to reply and retort to something, take a breath. Pause, and consider the happening in the larger picture of your life. Is this really all that important? Star in your own movie, but sit in the audience for a change. Step back and try to watch yourself when something that would normally upset you happens. You can now ponder what you can do to calm yourself or everyone else down, and how to actually make the situation you are in better.
Speaking of folks who disturb you…People who say “I hate to bother you” need to learn to hate it a little bit more. Lol. You can’t always calm the storm, sweet friends. So stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. Trust me, the storm will pass.
Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens. She works with individuals, couples, and families. Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends. She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at Safehavenhealing@gmail.com or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.