Guys… Let me tell you this morning did not start great. I mean it did and it didn’t. I woke up at 4:40 a.m. and went to the gym, I am desperately trying to train myself to be a morning person. Then I came home, got ready for work, sat down for a second, and then I left to get the day started. It’s a Wednesday, so I thought to myself, I deserve Starbucks (treat yourself, right), I went inside and grabbed my Chai Tea Latte, and I was pumped. As I am walking out to my car, I spilled coffee all over myself, and shouted “oh no,” and that’s how my day started.

So, why am I telling you all of this… at that moment I had a very pivotal decision to make that would set the tone for the rest of my day. I could either be devastated and let it get the best of me, or I could take a second to register my feelings and thoughts and choose to keep going on about my day. In life, we tend to be very reactive, instead of proactive. We act on instinct rather than taking a second to pinpoint our emotions and redirect them into a more positive fashion. I choose at that moment to be happy, I choose to keep going and you can too, here are some things I like to do when I am feeling down, when life gets the best of me, or even when I am unsure of how to process what I am feeling in a given moment.

As I’ve mentioned we act on our instincts rather than taking a second to think about the situation at hand. When I spilled my coffee, I shouted “oh no”, I acted very quickly, and it wasn’t until after the fact that I was able to channel my energy more positively. However, that is probably a normal response to hot coffee falling on you, or “ouch” would have worked as well. But, initially at that moment, “I thought” I was angry, sad, disappointed, and so on. I say “I thought,” because I was reactive and did not know what I was feeling at that moment. Our brain is fascinating, and in every situation we are given a message, we process the information and then react. But what if we took another pause in between the information we are processing and our reaction time, to re-train our brains and ourselves, to ensure we create a space around ourselves that isn’t filled with negativity.

My coffee incident is just one example. Let’s use relationships as another. I try not to speak for others and their experiences, or make things up so I can tell you about a time in my life where I reacted in my relationship before truly processing the situation and my emotions. My fiancé, I love him to death but man do we get into it sometimes over the smallest things. Open cabinets… I cannot stand cabinets being left open, it drives me insane. Before I started this practice of retraining my brain, I would freak out if I saw open cabinets. It was like a war, and it may sound so small but it is my pet peeve. But as I said it was something so small, that I continued to let get the best of me. I negatively used my energy, instead of taking a moment to address how I was feeling, and then bring a response to my fiancé that was constructive rather than destructive.

This practice takes time, especially because we can’t control everything that is going to happen to us in life. But we have one life to live, so let’s choose to not let life’s fumbles get in the way of that. A good place to start is by not asking yourself the hard questions like “what emotion am I feeling, and why,” but by simply taking a second longer to process every situation and taking a deep breath before reacting.

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