Managing Emotions

A formula for managing emotions can look like this.

S + T = RA
Situation + Thoughts about the situation = Reaction

S – T = RS
Situation – Any thoughts especially judgments about the situation = Response

S = situation, action, comments
T = thoughts, judgments, scenarios

One of the best ways to free yourself from reacting with emotions is by becoming aware of your thoughts. Thoughts are always there and they create all kinds of emotions. I find that just dropping all my judgments about the situation calms me.

When I react to a situation, it means I’m not in control. When I respond to a situation, it means I’m in control.

Here’s an example of how it works.
S + T = RA
The situation is: The light just turns red when I’m driving.
My thoughts about the red light could be: “oh no, I’m going to be late; this light is so long; when’s it going to turn green?” These thoughts make me impatient and tense.
My reaction is to get all worked up over something of which I have no control.

S – T = RS
The situation is the same: The light just turns red when I’m driving.
When I let go of these thoughts about the red light, I have just the red light. I am calm because I accept the reality that the light is red, that’s all there is to this situation.
My response is to calmly wait for the light to turn green.

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