Stay­ing calm in an ar­gu­ment

DO YOU SOME­TIMES GET SO HOT UN­DER THE COL­LAR THAT YOU ACT IN ANGER? THE NEXT TIME YOU FEEL YOUR BLOOD START­ING TO BOIL IT MIGHT HELP TO DE­COM­PRESS WITH A LIT­TLE MIND CON­TROL

Good Health (Australia) - - Content -

Although it can be hard to see this at the time, a dis­agree­ment can some­times be a help­ful ex­pe­ri­ence. Even un­com­fort­able ar­gu­ments can help us grow and learn about our­selves.

‘Cul­ti­vate a kind and ac­cept­ing at­ti­tude’

When you’re in the mid­dle of an ar­gu­ment, be­ing mind­ful is likely the last thing you’re think­ing about. But it can be a valu­able tool to cre­ate space be­tween what you’re feel­ing and how you’re in­ter­act­ing with each other dur­ing a con­flict. Here’s how to slow the sit­u­a­tion... »

Check in with how you’re feel­ing. How do you re­late to the per­son you’re talk­ing to or the topic at hand: un­easy, frus­trated, fear­ful, sad or an­gry?

» Pause and breathe – with breath as the fo­cus of your at­ten­tion, you can ob­serve these sen­sa­tions in­stead of re­act­ing to them.

» Think about your in­ten­tions for the ar­gu­ment, and fig­ure out what it is you’re try­ing to re­solve. What is it you are ar­gu­ing for or against? What out­come are you hop­ing for? Can you re­lease the at­tach­ment to that?

» Be mind­ful to what the other per­son is feel­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing; in­stead of think­ing about what you’re go­ing to say next, just ab­sorb what they’re shar­ing with you.

» If emo­tions are run­ning high, you can pause the ar­gu­ment by say­ing noth­ing. Take a slow, deep breath and re­turn to your cen­tre. Col­lect your thoughts and re­spond with­out es­ca­lat­ing the sit­u­a­tion. You may even like to voice your emo­tions out loud and say, “I am up­set and I need a mo­ment.”

Once you’ve calmed down, see if you ac­cept the sit­u­a­tion for what it is. Even if you still dis­agree with the other per­son, we’re al­ways bet­ter off when we can be re­spect­ful and keep an open mind – it may help you find a peace­ful res­o­lu­tion.

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