Image from a google.com search for Switching Gears that led to http://www.123RF.com
I have never driven a stick-shift car. I know with the new technology out there it is now possible to get hanged-controls that are equipped to handle a shifter like that, but honestly, I have no interest in it. I am an automatic man, through and through.
If only our emotions and reactions weren’t automatic, right? We all have our go-to emotions. It’s like our own human default settings. Some of us get angry easily. Others of us cry easily. Others laugh, sometimes at the wrong moment. In case you didn’t know, I fit all three of these categories. I wish I didn’t, but I do.
I am working on the harmful ones, like the anger. I am galaxies away from where I used to be with my anger. It’s no longer my automatic default setting. Why? Because Christ has begun a good work in me.
I have spoken to many people who also have anger management issues. They always say, ‘It’s just who I am. I wish I didn’t get angry so easy and so badly, but I can’t change who I am.’ Yes, you can. You can switch gears! Our bodies and emotions are not automatics. They are stick-shifts. Do the right things and the right gears will slide into place easily.
The next time you feel that anger boiling up, ground yourself. What do I mean by that? First of all, control your breathing. I have a friend at work I say this to on a daily basis, ‘Just breathe.’. When you focus on your breathing your heart rate will slow down and you will become more relaxed. It is a proven fact.
When you concentrate on your breathing, you are not concentrating on the problem that brought up the anger. Yes, it is still there. Breathing will not cause a problem to go away. That part is not automatic. But when you clear your mind and focus on getting yourself into a safe space, you will be able to deal with the problem better.
Don’t look at it in the moment. Walk away. Whether the problem is a mess in the house, or an argument with a loved one, or a bill that is looming over your head. If it is stirring up anger in the moment, walk away. Come back to it when you have calmed down.
You wouldn’t rev the RPM’s of your Chevy Impala (the car I drive) up to 6,000 or 7,000, why do that to your own body? New ways of clearing things so it becomes easier to work with are out there. Focus on the oxygen. Focus on five things that are good around you. Maybe you have beautiful eyes, or your hair is gorgeous today. Change gears and focus on something that won’t cause anger. And then deal with the problem when you can keep the vehicle (your body) idle and not like you are in a race.
Can you switch gears on your thoughts to be healthier in all areas today? YES YOU CAN!!! Eventually it will just be automatic.