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Think before you react. Practice deep breathing to be more observant of your reactions

How to keep cool and not lose your temper

Nishi Ahlawat

Yelling at your child for not doing homework, shouting at your partner for delaying dinner, screaming at your mother for asking the reason why you came home late – do we realise how much we hurt the ones we love by reacting to petty things? Though it makes us feel miserable later, we brazenly repeat the same, hurtful “reactions”.

Why do we do it? Simply put, it is an easy way out. It is our fears and insecurities that we try to hide and escape from with our devilish reactions. However, we can work on it. Just pause for a few seconds before you react in a spiteful manner and then speak. It is a wise step that could save us from regrets and our loved ones from hurt. That’s called “responding”. It is a little difficult, although, not impossible. Let’s give it a try.

Follow these nine (steps) to feel fine:

1. Be mindful. Think before you open your mouth. Take a pause. I know it’s difficult when you lose temper but try to use your brain; it is still strong.

2. Have a quick “recap” of your reaction in your mind and “look at” the terrible affect it would have on your child, spouse or parent. Love in your heart would help to overcome the anger and resentment. Believe me.

3. Be wise. Practice “delaying the spat”, especially when you know that things may get worse after the explosive reaction. Distract yourself. A few minutes would be enough to bring the situation back to normal.

4. Mirror image. Imitate your angry reactions in front of the mirror. Trust me, you would start hating yourself and would be more cautious the next time before revealing this ugly side of yours to the world.

5. Inner peace. Now, if somebody else tries to attack you with his/her toxic words, don’t let them enter the “serene boundary” that you have created around yourself. This boundary is, of course, invisible and only you have the power to see or feel it.

6. Silence is stronger than noise. Nobody likes you when you pour out the poison of incivility from your tongue. So, it’s better to shut up.

Once in a normal mood, ask someone to record your reactions to insignificant things. Watch them later. You would laugh at yourself. Seriously, we all look disgustingly funny when we yell, scold or shout.

7. Power of imagination. Now this is not easy but I have been using this trick myself. If somebody is shouting or screaming at you, just imagine a remote control in your hand and press the “mute button”. Feel the power in your hands.

8. Be prepared. Make note of situations or behaviour that trigger your reactions. This will help you to be more watchful and mindful when something like that happens again.

9. Practice deep breathing to be more observant of your reactions. No, I am not trying to teach yoga here. It really helps when you are about to lose your cool. I have tried it myself many times. Do it at least twice a day.

Try these simple techniques and the next time watch yourself responding instead of reacting. Make yours and your loved ones’ lives less complicated. After all, life is about being more loving and compassionate towards each other. It is our true nature. Isn’t it?

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