I’m sure you’ve experienced this: your morning started off okay and then your spouse or one of your kids said something that irritated or upset you.
<BAM> there went your positive mood.
As you got in the car and drove to work, you were seething with anger, or your mind was preoccupied with worry. You already need to let off steam and the clock in the car reminds you it’s not even 9am yet!
Or, everything is going fine until a co-worker says something without thinking that hurts you.
On your way home you’re driving distracted and angry, and when you get home you spill your frustrations out on your family.
This emotional carryover can lead to even higher stress, relationship problems, diminished health and definitely to a decreased enjoyment of life.
According to research done by insurance companies, emotional carryover is the leading cause of automobile accidents!
There are a few ways you can let off steam so that you don’t have to deal with the heavy weight of emotional carryover.
1. Start the day off right – with meditation! With LifeFlow, you can set your alarm for 15 or 30 minutes earlier, lie in bed with your headphones on (not required) and begin listening. If you’re still sleepy, drift off again… or use this time for a simple gratitude mantra that will help you “get up on the right side of the bed.”
An example of this is “Thank you for this new day and the opportunities it brings” or “I am grateful for my life and my ability to create my life experience.” Make up your own if you like – you’ll be amazed at how this simple practice of giving thanks will transform your life!
2. After a trying day at work, invest a few minutes in your quiet space so that you don’t take home all your frustrations and spread them onto your family.
Equally, if you had a quarrel with your spouse before you left for work, take a few minutes to let off steam before you drive or enter your workspace. Imagine the popular attraction of the geyser at Yellowstone park and how nature lets off steam. This way you can wipe the slate clean and arrive home or at work happy and calm because peace, calm and friendliness carry over too. Listen to LifeFlow on your computer or mobile phone, to center yourself and get back into a happier and more in-control frame of mind.
3. Use meditation and exercise together to create a higher baseline happiness and self-control. For example, meditate first thing in the morning… then go hit the gym before work (that way you can “run off” any family issues before you get to the office)… then take time for a quick 15-minute meditation at lunch… followed by a brisk 10-minute walk… and choose either meditation or exercise before you head home (you’ll be amazed at what 5 minutes of mindfulness can do!)… and finish the day with meditation.
In time this practice will be instrumental in changing your life. You’ll be better able to spot your emotional triggers and instead of automatically reacting to them, you’ll be able to pause, and respond in a way that creates a win-win situation.
In time, you’ll be able to feel your emotions without getting involved in the thoughts that created them – and in so doing, you’ll “ride the wave” of negative emotions and quickly return to a happier state (before you hit the road!).
As you do this, you’ll notice that you are less reactive and more resilient – things that used to send you into a tailspin will not even get a raised eyebrow anymore. The big things will become small, and the small things will not even register for you anymore.
Doesn’t that sound like a better alternative to becoming upset and carrying your upset with you all day long, and taking it out on others? Of course. It feels better inside, and it will translate into more positive interactions with others, too!