One simple step toward happiness every day for a year. Doesn't everyone want to be happy?
Join us on Facebook (more about these "Secrets")

Monday, December 28, 2009

Count to Ten (or a Hundred)

As I wrote recently, natural anger passes in the twinkling of an eye, as demonstrated by two cats who pass each other, let it out, and move on.

When it happens, you might want to practice the advice proposed by that Sage of all Presidents, Thomas Jefferson: "When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, a hundred."

I know that my "seeing red" phase rarely makes it past the ten-count before "the better angels of [my] nature" kick in (to quote another President/Sage, A. Lincoln). And if, after ten, there's still a crimson tinge to my vision, I try (oh, how I try) to keep counting.

I don't want to pretend that I'm good at this. But I'm proud to say: I'm getting better.

Experts say there are two things going on when we stop to count: first, the passage of time. Give the storm a chance to blow over.

Second, distraction. The act of counting can take our minds off of whatever ticked us off, giving "sweet reasonableness" a chance to sneak in.

It helps to breathe, too.

So whatever (or whoever) it is that's bothering ya, Bunky, give peace a chance. Count to ten (or a hundred).

You'll be happier.

No comments:

Post a Comment