“I don’t know why, but I’m angry a lot these days”, a friend told us, “like I’ll be buzzing along normally, doing my day-to-day thing, and then something happens and I just snap. Out of the blue I explode and before I know it, I’ve either had a loud argument with someone I love or yelled expletives in public at the wi-fi for failing to connect…and it’s only way later that I realize what I have done. And then I have to dig myself out of painful and embarrassing situations not knowing how I got there in the first place…”
Well, these are exceptionally difficult times, and frustrations triggers are as common as ‘new normal’ signs. So it’s quite natural that our friend loses it sometimes.
But what struck us was that part about “not knowing how I got there in the first place”.
When our fight-flight-freeze is activated, we lose our capacity to think and to analyze. Our minds are hijacked, we are in a trance, our perspective gets distorted, and we lose the capacity for sympathy, empathy and compassion towards others and ourselves.
And all of this happens faster than we can register. The thought comes, emotions are triggered, and we react.
Not a happy situation for us or the ones on the receiving end.
In his book, “Taming the Tiger Within”, Thich Nhat Hanh tells us :
“In the beginning you may not understand the
nature of your anger, or why it has come to be.
But if you know how to embrace it with the
energy of mindfulness, it will begin
to become clear to you.”
We’ve all heard about Mindfulness, but what is it exactly?
According to Siri Chandler, an expert Mindfulness teacher, it is choosing to pay attention with kindness, curiosity and non-judgment in the present moment to whatever is happening - the good, the bad and the ugly.
It’s about being fully engaged with whatever you’re doing and being aware of your thoughts and feelings. Not so easy of course, but with regular practice your ‘mindfulness muscle’ does get stronger, and you start noticing feelings like frustration and anger before they manage to execute a rear naked choke and take you on yet another very unpleasant trip. So while you may still be unable to control what is happening out there in the bizarre world of 2020, you’re at least able to control your reaction and relationship to it. And then you begin to have improved physical and mental health, you’re able to take more pleasure in your day-to-day activities, and your relationship with loved ones, and with the wi-fi, start to get better.
In short, developing the skill of Mindfulness can actually make you happy.
If you would like to learn more, Metta Visions is launching a brand new course, “Mindfulness, Your Path to a Happier Life”. Taught by Siri Chandler, you will gain a deeper understanding of Mindfulness and develop skills such as
Siri has been practicing Mindfulness for over 30 years and started teaching in 2011. She trains educators, corporations, athletes, and children of all ages and their parents. She lives in beautiful Pranburi, Thailand where she facilitates retreats, courses and workshops, in-person and online.
We will be back very soon with our launch date, and in the meantime here's a short video introducing Siri.