Learn the “pause” and save your sanity
by Amaka Obi
Every day, we are faced with so many challenges that annoy, irritate, or completely drive us nuts!
We, mostly, have already developed an unconscious, but ready reaction to these life’s annoyances.
That obnoxious driver beside you cuts right in front of your car without signaling – You put your head out the window and yell obscenities at him/her! And end up being so riled up for the next hour, at least.
Your child pours oil on your cloth as you are about to step out of the house. Father Lord! “Where in the world did you get oil from this morning? This child wants to kill me o” and you spank the bee-Jesus out of their behinds!!! And end up flustered, angry and completely out of focus for the day!
So many of these kinds of scenarios are what we battle each and every day!
We react. But HOW do we react? Do we react in a way that reflects strength of character and mind?
Do we react in a way that we would want others to emulate?
Do we react in a way that will help us emerge from the situation calmer and saner?
Or do we get lost in ourselves and the moment, throw caution to the wind and lash out, disrupting our entire day on account of a hiccup we encountered???
Olamide Abels, an emotional intelligence advocate – sends in this piece to help us rein in our emotions when they threaten to fly off the lid. To help us rise above life’s annoyances and maintain our composure and sanity, thereby living happier lives.
“The Important pause”
Have you ever done or said something that you wish you could take back? See me asking jamb question (LOL) I know the answer is “Of course”! I mean who hasn’t? I have something that will help for sure. It’s so simple it almost sounds funny.
It’s called a Pause. Yes you read right, ‘A Pause’.
Research shows that after we have received an emotional stimulus, it takes around six seconds for those molecules of emotion to get absorbed back into your body after you’ve had a reaction.
When we experience a stimulus, the amygdala – the feelings part of our brain is triggered and it takes about 6 seconds before the logical part of our brain can catch up. We react even faster if we have created a pattern for that particular stimulus.
I will give you an example, I have always held a position that if a guy should slap me, I will slap him back. For whatever reason, I just believed that it was condescending and it required retaliation. One day while in secondary school, my classmate and I got into an argument and he felt the need to slap me. I slapped him back. Guess what, I can’t remember slapping him till today, the gaps were filled in by my classmates who told me I gave him twice the response.
If I could think, I probably would have factored in the fact that he was a guy and could beat the (fill in the gap) out of me. I would have also factored in the fact that I had a teacher right in front of the class and all the other important stuff that took a back seat in that moment.
Since learning about The Pause I have had fewer regrettable instances. The pause can save you from all kinds of wrong or impulsive decisions. See the whole point of emotional intelligence is to give sense to your emotions, and there is no other way to do that than to pull those feelings back with a rope and let logic or rational thought drive.
Pause gives you a chance to:
Really consider your options and choose a better one.
Navigate your emotions to a place of strength rather than weakness.
Think about the consequences of your actions before taking them
Develop new patterns where your brain learns to analyze before making a decision.
You might not be able to Rewind or Fast Forward but you sure can Pause.
So Pause, Evaluate and Respond.
Keep pausing and shining, people!
Article sent in by Olamide Abels.
You can reach her on [email protected]