by Derek O'Neill
When you’re in the thick of stressful emotions, it’s very difficult to make a clear decision. When you’re angry and anxious, that’s not the time to have an important conversation with somebody. That’s a battle, not a conversation! The ability to step back and observe what is happening to you at any given moment is empowering. The next time you feel stressed, try stepping back. It will take practice, but in time the reflex of observation can become automatic.
The reason why people routinely pray, meditate, or have a contemplative discipline is to learn a way to always find a calm space. When something triggers them and they need to know the way back to serenity, they can tap into it at any time. You have to train your mind and body to know when stress is becoming overwhelming.
Our attention needs direction and purpose. Left to its own devices it will stray from what we want it to...