I’ve decided to record my frustrations–what irritates or angers me. I want to do this and question it. Why? Why did that upset me? Why do I feel this way? I am hoping this will lead me to a more mindful and calmer state of mind in my day-to-day life.
My first entry was this:
Today, and many times before, I became angry–frustrated–at a car that cut me off. Why? It frightened me, made me nervous, upset me because they were careless. I am already an anxious driver. But did it cross my mind that they had no right? How dare they? I’m not sure I remember. Those thoughts would imply a subtle superiority on my part, which I loathe and strive to avoid. Is it the anonymity of the person, or the judgment of an inanimate object (car) rather than the driver within? Who am I to say what another deserves or not? Their entry onto the road in front of me did not–does not–hinder my progress. It’s a small moment, forgotten in minutes. I just need to acknowledge the moment, breathe, brake a little, drive on.
I think a little introspection is necessary for growth and maturity. Questioning our actions as well as others’ is important to understanding ourselves and those around us. It allows me to better empathize with people. I am more expressive and in control of my body and mind. Insignificant moments should not instill such great anxiety or stress; certainly, particular events cannot be ignored or cast aside as unseemly outbursts of emotion, but recording moments such as the one above allow me to better distinguish that which should be dealt with more thoroughly and those moments where a bit of mindfulness can prevent or lessen the anxieties.
Why do certain things bother me more than others? What triggers an angry response, a sudden outburst or surge of annoyance? My younger brother knows exactly how to irk me to the fullest extent, and sometimes I wonder if the things he says or does bother me because it is a true or habitual response to his persistence. I think, regardless, both are important to consider; I must be more mindful and aware of what he’s doing in order to move on and/or break a habit of rising to his taunts and laziness.
Mindfulness is a real state of mind, and I believe it can help me surpass struggles and stress. I like to think of different ways to accomplish this: pay attention to my breath–breathe intentionally; read before bed to ground me at the end of each day, and don’t look at any screens; lay on the floor and listen to music; close my eyes and try to identify as many sounds as I can; write down my thoughts; reflect on the day; hang out with a friend; take a nap; exercise; make art.
A person can be mindful anywhere. For me, I like to become hyper-aware of my surroundings, using all my senses to identify sounds, smells, the feel of my clothes and air, the light and shadows forming the world around me, each swallow a brief interruption to my breath.
Be mindful to be better.
Listen to people better; really hear what others are saying and actively engage by repeating what they’ve said and asking questions without wandering eyes.
See the beauty in the world, even when it seems most dreary; find those hidden moments of beauty and peace.
Be more efficient and productive.
Nothing happens out of the blue, unprompted. There is an infinite chain reaction at work in the world. Something, or the lack of something, always results in something else, however insignificant. Cause and effect. Whether intentionally or knowingly or not, nothing just happens. I believe in coincidence, but even such events had something happen beforehand that precipitated their existence. This is remarkable, the way we are all connected.
Question why things are the way they are. Do not be a blind follower. Why? Once I know and understand the reasons behind my frustrations and anxiety, I can strive to ameliorate the situation. I can address the issues and try to be better next time. Be calmer, mindful, and remember baseless malevolence and frustration get me nowhere. Be intentional. I want to let the negative go and embrace the positive aspects of my life, so I can live my fullest life unhindered by trivial matters.
Thumbnail image courtesy of Eli Defaria (https://unsplash.com/photos/b-YmNNAxcYE)