Monday, 9 February 2015

To Exercise or to Exorcise?

I basically only have one form of exercise in my regime: jumping...   ...to conclusions!

Yes, it’s the truth that the more disappointed I become with life, the more irritable and hyper-sensitive I seem to become too! And the hyper-sensitivity brings along its unwelcome best mate: Mr Hyper-Critical.

Suffice to say, jumping to conclusions is hazardous for your health, it’s hazardous for your state-of-mind, and it is hazardous for your relationships. It disturbs your sleep too.

Last week I misread a friend’s comment – and jumped to a conclusion – the wrong one. In fact it was so wrong, it was 180 degrees opposite to their intention. I was very embarrassed and I’m sure they weren’t too thrilled either when I discovered my error of judgment. It might take a while to heal that relationship.

Just in case what I am saying is resonating with you, is there a defence that could moderate this tendency to jump to the (wrong) conclusion when we are feeling low?

I’d like to share with you my ABC Rescue Remedy.

“A” stands for “Assume the best”. This is a great position to default to. After all, if it turns out that the negative conclusion we would have jumped to was actually the right conclusion, we can still strike them off our Christmas list! Looking at the issue, what is the best possible intention the other party could have had? Think the best of them.

“B” is for “Breathe...”  Breathe for a l-o-n-g time.  My Grandma encouraged me to count to ten.  In fact, a second is a long time. In music, we might count 1-e-and-a for just one beat of a bar representing a second. So ten seconds can be long enough for you or me to press pause and take a breather. If there’s an email or a phone call to be made to respond to the imagined offence, I’d suggest a long breather! Insert a gap between stimulus and response! Overnight works well... if you can sleep.

And finally, “C” is for “Check!” In 90% of situations, it’s been possible for me to check out my understanding before throwing my toys out of the pram!

So, perhaps it’s time to exorcise Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms Hyper-Critical – and to cease getting all my exercise by jumping to conclusions.

There is a better way.

Lex
A Moodscope member.