This is Important…
Thus it is critical that when negative thoughts/feelings kick in, that we take a pause, and observe carefully the movement of thought/feeling as it arises and (as it inevitably must) falls. Separate yourself from this movement by watching. Observe closely its activity and realize that this robotic process has enthralled and enslaved you for your entire life. As you make this realization, a sense of power will come over you. You will, for at least a moment, feel a sense of a potential freedom and power, that has heretofore been completely unsuspected.
Ask yourself: at this moment do I have enough air? Water? Am I starving? What you will realize is that, for the vast majority of us, all of the basic needs for our survival are being met. You may not have enough money for your dream home or even to pay your basic bills. You may not be able to pay for your an operation or for the prescription drugs that you need. And, you may not be able to pay your rent. There may be a radioactive plume heading straight for your cozy little hamlet or home, but not only are you probably OK now, but more importantly, negative feelings of fear, anger, worry etc. SERVE NO PURPOSE! They aren’t going to stop the plume or help pay your rent, but they will, and this is important, diminish your ability to create solutions to your so-called problems!! So what is their point? There is no point! And that is the point! They are an automatic formula (cognitive scientists call it a heuristic), that is built into the lower structures of the brain. Sort of like software that is built into the operating system of your computer. It designed to allow you to survive an encounter with a saber tooth tiger, but it is counterproductive for solving the complex 21st century problems that we all face.
In order to function in our modern world, we need to understand the concept of poise. Of grace under fire, and the only way to accomplish this is by separating ourselves for automatic thought/feelings that generate worry, sadness, anger and the rest of the plethora of negative emotion that are available at all times. Step back, even for just a moment and watch the mental machinery as it churns. You might even reassure the machine that all is really OK and the net effect will be an enhanced ability to deal with everything that comes your way.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget to breathe! 😀