In any situation, there are many different ways to respond. Most often we chose the quickest route, which is reacting without thinking, following old brain pathways and emotional patterns.
If you want things to stay as they are, then keep doing exactly what you’re doing. If you want things to get better, if you want to live a happier life, then you need to change some things.
The one thing in life that is the easiest and most accessible to change is yourself. You can’t change anyone else but you can change yourself. Making changes to how you respond to situations can begin to change what situations arise. The first step is to begin to understand why you react or respond to situations the way you do.
By finding a way to create space between stimuli and how you respond to it, you begin to understand yourself and your environment more clearly. It’s a powerful tool and is falls under many categories. It is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, becoming your own observer… Whatever you want to call it, this practice gives you space to see yourself as an outsider and give yourself the chance to respond with reason instead of reacting without self-awareness or understanding.
Following is a link to a record sheet to use to understand your response in any situation. This tool helps not only to understand your response to something, but also to begin to understand where it is coming from and why. The more you can understand why you are responding to something the way you are the more freedom you have to respond in a way that is most effective.