Someone snaps at you, and you snap back.
It’s so easy, it just happens. You don’t pause and think about what’s going to come out of your mouth, you just shoot it out as fast as you can. But where does that get you? Probably not anywhere very good.
Habits are hard to break, and overriding defaults takes practice. It requires both STRENGTH and AGILITY. This week I challenge you to pause and think twice every day. Give yourself a little time (even a few seconds can be enough!) to identify what you are trying to accomplish and what might be a better way to do that.
Just like the carpenter’s rule, measure twice, cut once, the goal here is to think twice and act once, in order to minimize regrets.
Here are a couple of ways to practice:
- Try it via email. The fact that email doesn’t happen in real time is a great way to practice crafting more thoughtful responses rather than just firing off a nasty gram. It has the added bonus that the other person doesn’t have to stand there awkwardly while you get your thoughts together.
- Answer with a question. If you are feeling a little triggered, sometimes coming up with a question is easier than coming up with an answer. It might even give you some bonus clarity to go with your thinking time.
- Breathe. After all those breathers you took last week you should be a pro at that. But the science shows us that consciously changing your breath can adjust mood and emotion, helping us to behave more thoughtfully.
Practicing self-regulation is one of the most important components of being Thoughtfully Fit. If you can start by thinking twice, you’ll begin to find ways to act and react with greater intention. Now that’s a great way to start off 2019 on the right path!
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