There are a billion self-help books on how to change.
Lots of theories. Lots of suggestions. Lots of coping techniques.
But it’s a lot to remember when you’re freaking out. When you feel angry or want to scream at someone because you think they’re treating you badly.
One thing I learned way back is to keep things simple. It’s easier to remember when your mind is going bonkers.
So what if all you had to remember were two words?
Yep. You read right.
Instead of having to try and remember fifty different techniques, it’s easier to remember Just Stop.
Then, you can step back and think things through. That’ll help get a different, and sometimes more desirable, reaction.
For example. I’m driving and someone cuts me off. I have to slam on my breaks or swerve to avoid hitting the car.
Common reactions you’ve seen (or done) are, giving the one finger wave, cussing up a storm at them, speeding up and ramming your car into theirs.
Ok. That last one was extreme, but not unheard of.
More than likely, when the car cut you off, you might have thought one or all of these things: He’s a jerk. She’s an inconsiderate snob. What, do you think you own the road?
That led to feelings of rage. Frustration. Annoyance.
Which then led to your aggressive reaction that could lead to violence in some cases.
But what if you stopped before reacting? Then in those few seconds there’s a chance to rethink what just happened.
Maybe the driver just got a call that his kid was brought to the emergency room and he’s racing to get there.
Maybe the driver’s sister just died.
Maybe the driver is lost, just trying to find her way.
Maybe he didn’t see me.
Changes the reaction level, doesn’t it? And then, by changing your interpretation of an event, you change (control) your reaction.
But it starts with two simple words.