You've been there...
The Scene: behind the wheel...following the slowest driver evvvver....an appointment to make... hit every red light...and no passing lane for miles.
The Thoughts: "This person is going to make me late" "I'll ride their ass a little so they get the memo" "I should have left sooner...again"
The Feelings: a knot in your stomach from frustration, red chest from annoyance, self pity because this "always happens when I'm in a rush".
At first, I was a crazy person going between freaking out and taking deep breaths. One moment I was cursing my unknown enemy ahead, and the next I was saying, "just breath, it'll all be fine".
Eventually, I got my crap together and asked these 3 questions:
1. Is my attitude helping the situation?
Clearly 'no'. The situation was going to play out in exactly the same way whether I was boiling over, or cool as a cucumber. If anything, my frustration was making me a worse driver, so it was probably doing more harm.
2. Does this feel good?
Nope. The only person feeling the effects of my negative emotions was myself. Why would I choose to feel like crap on purpose? I hated the knot in my stomach and the heat on my chest.
3. What is the worst thing that can happen, and can I handle it?
The answer was, "be late for teaching my yoga class", and "yes, I can handle whatever arises from that situation. An apology, a refund, a longer class are all within my control."
After that, EVERYTHING CHANGED.
I said "yes to the situation", and my brain started coming up with thoughts that were helpful instead of pissing me off. "This is meant to happen" "This is good practice" "This is a great example to share with students" "I just need to leave 5 minutes earlier next time"
Notice, I didn't change the situation at all... only my reaction to the situation.
There will be times where we want the situation to change soooo bad. So that THEN we can feel better. The better option is to choose to feel better ANYWAYS.
You can't control every situation, but you can control how you respond to every situation.