Throughout the course of life it becomes apparent that many situations we find ourselves in are out of our control. As much as we like to believe and sometimes convince ourselves that we have more authority over outcomes in our life, it’s simply not reality.
Fortunately, there is something that we do have complete control over and that’s our thoughts and feelings that we tie to life’s circumstances.
Epictetus once said, “Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”
Many people go through their existence without ever questioning why they act or react in certain ways as a response to what happens in their lives.
Luckily you can steer clear of being like this by understanding and then applying what you read below!
Just like our phones and computers receive occasional software updates, our minds are fully capable of being updated as well.
Past conditioning that might’ve worked well for you during your childhood years can now be an impediment on your ability to maintain a healthy relationship, hold on to a job or even just be able to deal with daily life.
Take a few moments to disconnect digitally and sit alone with your thoughts.
Ask yourself questions such as:
“What emotions do I feel often that are negatively impacting my life?”
“What typically triggers these emotions?”
“Why do I feel these emotions during these trigger situations?”
Let’s take for example my impatience for getting stuck in traffic.
Immediately I begin to get agitated and if anyone is in the car with me they can quickly sense it. I may become short with them or act rude, and in return I destroy my peace of mind, which can end up lasting long after the traffic subsides.
I’ve been working on upgrading my mind for quite some time and I’m always seeking out situations where negative emotions are triggered so that I can debug and improve my livelihood.
Once you determine the specific emotions that are impacting your life negatively, the trick is to become consciously aware of it as the situation begins to unfold in real time.
This can be difficult at first and in most cases you’ll end up recognizing it only after your emotions have already gotten the best of you, but this is positive as well because you’re still becoming aware of it.
As you practice with consistent repetition, you’re providing your subconscious with new context that is related to the present moment. You’re telling yourself that getting annoyed during traffic is an outdated automatic behavior that no longer suits you.
According to John Yates, author of The Mind Illuminated, the longer we can be mindful in a particular situation, the more new information becomes available and the more mindfulness can work its magic…consciousness can continue to pick up on and communicate the consequences of the event and their effects on our mental state long afterward.
Essentially, by making a conscious effort to become aware of your triggers and the emotions that follow them, you can reprogram your mind to react differently the next time the scenario presents itself.
It is in your capacity to control how you react and feel about anything and everything that happens in your life, for better or for worse.
This is a very special gift that is bestowed upon all humans, and if taken advantage of, can produce positive changes in life and provide a profound sense of empowerment and salvation.