MoHow Posted By Dr. MO No matter how much organization we create in our lives, there will always be things that we cannot control, and if we let them, these things can be a huge source of anger, frustration and stress. The simple solution, that leads to increased well-being, is learning how to Ride The Wave.
For example, let’s say you’ve created the perfect peaceful morning routine. You’ve structured your mornings so that you do things that bring you calm and happiness. And then a water pipe bursts in your bathroom and you spend a stressful morning trying to clean up the mess and get the pipe fixed.
You become upset. You’re frustrated, because you didn’t get to do your morning routine. You feel stressed from all these changes to what you’re used to. It ruins your day because you are frustrated for the rest of the day.
Not the best way to respond, is it? And yet if we are honest, most of us have problems like this, with things that disrupt how we like things, with people who change what we are used to, with life when it doesn’t go the way we want it to go.
What does Riding The Wave mean? It’s rolling with the punches, accepting change without getting angry or frustrated. It’s taking what life gives you, rather than thinking that life has to be exactly as you want it to be for you to be okay. It’s making the best of anything.
In today’s post I am sharing some of the ways I approach life. I’m learning as I go, and feeling better as I learn to be more embracing in my attitude. Here are 6 ideas for you to consider. Tomorrow I will a further 6.
1. There is only so much you can control. I think we all know this at some level, but the way we think, feel and act doesn’t reflect this basic truth. We can’t control the universe, and yet we seem to wish we could. All the wishful thinking won’t make it so. You can’t even control everything within your own little sphere of influence. In the example above, you can control your morning routine, but there will be things that happen from time to time (someone’s sick, accident happens, etc.) that will make you break your routine. The first step is accepting that things happen. There are things that we cannot control that will affect every aspect of our lives, and we need to embrace this reality or we will constantly be frustrated.
2. Become aware. You can’t change things in your head if you’re not aware of them. You have to become an observer of your thoughts, a self-examiner. Be aware that you’re becoming upset, so that you can do something about it. It helps to track your thoughts each time you get upset. This will help you become more aware of the thoughts that trigger your anger and frustration.
3. Breathe. When you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated, take a deep breath. Take a few. This is an important step that allows you to calm down. Practice this by itself and you’ll have come a long way already.
4. Get perspective. This always helps me. I get angry over something happening, my car breaks down, I burn the toast in the morning, next, I take a deep breath, and take a step back. You know how when you’re watching a movie and the camera zooms away you can see much more of the world on the screen than you could before? How it goes from closeup to a larger, panoramic view of things? That’s what I do in my head. I start to zoom out until I think of the event in a larger context. Then whatever happened feels smaller and doesn’t seem so important. A week from now, a year from now, this little incident won’t matter. So why get upset about it? Just let it go, and soon it won’t be a big deal.
5. Practice. It’s important to realize that, just like when you learn any skill, you probably won’t be good at this at first. Who is good when they are first learning to write, or read, or drive? No one I know. Skills come with practice. So when you first learn to go ride the wave, you will be clumsy. You will stumble and fall. That’s okay, it’s part of the process. Just keep practicing, and you’ll improve.
6. One step at a time. Along the same lines, take things in small steps. Don’t bite off huge chunks, just bite off something small at first. So make your first attempts to ride the wave small ones. Focus on awareness and Thought Tracking first. Then focus on breathing. Then get perspective after you breathe. Approach the easier situations in your life first first…….if your work problems are easier to accept than your frustrations at home, for example, start with work.
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