Control the dominoes of emotion
Sometimes emotions come to us out of the blue, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes, we can choose to control them.
After a surprising positive or negative external event happens, our automatic processes in the mind react, forming thoughts.
How could he have done that?
That was so thoughtful of her.
We start to accumulate thoughts and emotions around the event, wrapping it in a narrative.
That narrative can serve us, but in the case of negative emotions it does us a disservice.
For negative emotions, you can catch yourself before they become strong. You can identify the negative pattern of thought before it blooms into a storm of irrational behavior.
You can stop and say:
I’m doing this again. I don’t want to do this, it’s counterproductive
You can stop the chain of these thought dominoes from propagating further. You can step back and then redirect your focus so that a positive chain of events unfolds instead.
Learning to identify negative patterns of thought that subsequently translate into negative emotions helps you to stop those emotions from coming about and ruining your day.
Are there any situations in your life where you habitually trigger negative emotions?
Stop the dominoes from falling.