Why do you think the way you do?

As frustrating as it may be to come to class at night after a long day at work, I have to admit it has its benefits. Tonight for example, I am sitting in my mediation class and we are discussing how to reframe thoughts and statements within mediation. Specifically, how to take the deeper meaning of a statement and separate that from the negative wording that may have been tied to it.

See, the benefit of coming to class after work is that it allows me to reflect on the day I had and apply that with the material I learn. Tonight as I sit here, I wonder “maybe it isn’t only in mediation that someone needs statements or thoughts reframed.” I kept thinking back to how often I get frustrated throughout the day throughout my daily routine. Traffic, waiting in line, talking on the phone, walking around campus, etc. and I reflected on these experiences I thought about how quickly I immediately turn to negative thoughts and frustration. I encounter something that frustrates me and instinctively I turn to a negative response…

The truth is, it is beyond difficult to think positively throughout the day despite the countless inevitable daily frustrations we encounter. The difficulty lies in the fact that thinking positively requires constant conscious effort. Effort that we often don’t feel we have to offer after everything else we allocate our effort towards each day. This effort is required to reframe your thoughts from negative judgements and frustrations into positive, or even neutral, thoughts and statements. However, if you begin to master this skill of positive thinking and personal reframing, the amount of happiness you encounter in life turns into an infinity pool…

How quick are you to snap at the person who cuts you off on the freeway? Anyone who has talked to me on the phone knows while I’m driving knows that I am one of the worst offenders of this. Specifically if I see someone texting and driving, it typically infuriates me. Today, while on the phone with my mother, I witnessed someone FaceTime while driving. Who does that?

As I sat in class, I realized that it only takes a brief moment, to stop and consciously change how you think and react. If you can take a brief moment and stop before you let something irritate you, you begin to take control of your happiness. When that person cuts you off, stop and think “well as much as this guy may be an a**, am I willing to let this ruin my day? Is it worth it? So many of you reading this have so much going on in your lives, and so much of the outside world is out of your control. You may not be able to control what you encounter, but you can control how you react.

Have you ever been the one to cut someone off in a moment where you were in a rush? Have you ever been the one holding up the line at the grocery store or drive through? Have you ever felt like your having the worst day of your life, and the last thing you need is for someone to get frustrated with you? If so, grant people mercy. Be understanding. Slow down and take control of your happiness…one action at a time.

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