What do we do when something unexpected happens?
Do we become stuck in a state of anger blaming everything and everyone around us?
Or do we notice emotions arising, choosing to observe, learn and move on?
I was reminded about this on a recent trip to the UK when I had each flight delayed 2 hours and a car break down all in one weekend. Yes really! It was through these experiences that my travelling partners and I were reminded of the helpful aspects of previously perceived 'set backs' and times of uncertainty.
We have a choice...we can choose some of the below options or we can choose to remain stuck in a state of anger. It's ok to notice some frustration and anger...its what we do with the emotions that count. To hold on, resist and try to shift the responsibility to others may not necessarily bring the healthiest outcome.
- We can start observing the present moment...which for many people passes by without much thought or attention (myself included at times). With these moments we can take a moment to sit, observe and take in what is really going on around us. Would we really notice families hugging, or hearing a child's laugh if we didn't have that moment to stop? And by noticing this how does that affect your state? Also by observing how we feel internally we may notice we may need to give ourselves some more comfort before we angrily snap at others.
- We can find hidden benefits...that we may have missed previously. How have you benefited from this setback or moment of delay? What have you gained? What have you learnt?
- We can build a greater connection with ourselves and others. Without that moment to stop would you be having that conversation? Without that moment would you take the time to reflect and connect to yourself?
- We are reminded not to take things for granted. We can assume that everything will go according to plan, which (with travel especially) anything could happen. What are you grateful for in this moment?
- We can become more flexible...through experiences like these we then know how to deal with any future situations that could arise.
- We can have a moment to re-evaluate our life...is this situation reflecting anything for you and your travel partners? What can you learn from this?
- We can take a moment to rest...which sometimes many people often don't do. Having that moment to stop, breathe and observe can act like a meditation for the mind and body.
- We may surprise ourselves...sometimes through unexpected situations we can realise things about ourselves that we may of not previously noticed. Old beliefs connected to situations may no longer seem to be an issue. What is different now?
If you notice that you are becoming frustrated or angry when in a situation ask yourself this...
Is it really worth holding onto this anger? And what emotion is lying underneath this? Often fear is hidden away beneath the initial frustration...fear of what may or may not happen, anxiety of the uncertainty, sadness of missing out on something or even fear of what people may think. Upon realising this we have the choice to either hold on to unhelpful states or embrace ourselves in a time of need.
Observing, connecting, finding the hidden benefits and taking a moment to breathe...
It's that comfort that can help us feel whole lot better.
What do you find helps?