Stop the fighting

S

“I’m really noticing that I’m becoming more mindful. I was in the middle of an argument this week, and I realized I didn’t really care about what I was arguing about. So I stopped.”

Two weeks into her Koru class, Marquetta observed, “I’m really noticing that I’m becoming more mindful. I was in the middle of an argument this week, and I realized I didn’t really care about what I was arguing about. So I stopped.” She went on to say, “I’ve never been able to distance myself from the heat of the moment in a fight before.”

Now we’re talking. That’s mindfulness in the middle of an argument. Really potent stuff.

Of course, it’s not easy to do this. Marquetta was able to pull it off because she’d been practicing meditation for ten minutes a day for two weeks. Her practice paid off for her when she found herself in the middle of a fight.

Next time you feel yourself losing it, see if you can catch yourself, and then stop for a moment and try to notice the feel of your breath moving in and out.

Try to then observe what you are feeling in your body, and what thoughts are in your mind. What emotions are swirling around? Take a few more breaths.

Whatever it is, maybe you’ll notice it’s not helpful to fight about it or like Marquetta, that it’s really not that important to you.

Maybe you’ll discover that you are really mad at yourself or your boss, but it is easier to take it out on someone else.

Maybe you’ll find that you feel you “should” be mad, because you feel it’s the only way to make your point.

Once you have taken a break, watched a few deep breaths, observed the sensations in your body, maybe then you could walk away, do something else, and give yourself a chance to calm down.

If you are paying attention to how you feel when you say or do something cruel, you may notice it feels pretty icky. Especially when you see those words and deeds land on someone else. Yuck. And then you get to experience the unpleasantness of regret. More yuck. 

It is much easier to cross a bridge you have not completely burned down.

So next time you are losing it, try to just find your breath.

Have you used mindfulness to interrupt an angry tirade? Share your story below.

 

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The Mindful Twenty Something by Holly Rogers
“Wise, but not obscure. Practical, but lighthearted and inspiring.”

— MIRABAI BUSH, co-founder and Senior Fellow of The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society

Learn more about the book