When someone or something upsets us we can experience many different emotions such as anger, frustration, guilt, annoyance, anxiety, hurt, pain accompanied with uncontrollable thoughts.

That discomfort is actually not caused by the event or circumstance.

Rather, it is caused by our resistance to that person, situation or thing being or acting the way it does, causing 'friction' within the body’. i.e. our emotional abreaction.

This resistance is affected by our non-conscious mind, which acts as our internal operating system responsible for our emotions, which are designed to protect and preserve the body.

Formulated and modified over a lifetime of experiences, it runs in background mode generating emotional responses and thoughts (60,000 thoughts per day), affecting how we feel about every moment or interaction, thus influencing our consequent actions.

It is said that we are ‘addicted to thinking’ (Tolle). When upset the mind runs in hyperdrive as we madly process the past and the future, calling on the unconscious to make sense of what is happening, rather than just enjoying the now - just Being.

By becoming aware of our own resistance and how it is causing us emotional and possibly physical distress, the only truly effective solution is to end that resistance.

Rather than letting emotions trigger negative responses when something upsets us, by raising our awareness about our own thinking and feelings and subsequent behaviours, we can then think through alternate responses.

That is not to say that you cannot have preferred outcomes, however, it is essential that you are not attached to those outcomes … that your happiness is dependent on them. If they do happen that is good. If they don’t, life still continues.

We also label or interpret peoples behaviours based on our own belief system, thinking we know why they are saying or doing something. Yet, often we have it soo wrong. How often do people say to their partner “No you don’t. I know what you really think …”

To free ourselves from negative feelings is extremely liberating, and also saves friendships & relationships, but does require work. You must step aside and observe yourself when feeling upset, recording your experiences under the following headings:

  1. The cause
  2. The discomfort, pain or emotion experienced
  3. The reason why you think they are saying or behaving as they are
  4. How you would normally react
  5. Consequences of acting this way
  6. Big picture effect (how will it really impact your LIFE longer term?)
  7. Other reasons why they are … Look for/s multiple reasons, and believe!!
  8. How you could react differently
  9. Consequences of acting differently

If a situation was handled badly, look at ways it could have been handled differently. Remember, do not be judgemental, as improving communication skills is a lifetime 'work in progress'.

As Shakespeare said, “there is nothing either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so”.