We've all heard the relationship advice "don't go to bed angry." And for the majority of my life I always thought these to be good words of wisdom, to stay up talking until you work things out, no matter what. After a recent disagreement and subsequent resolution I have formed a new opinion. SLEEP ON IT. Here's why & what to do instead...
- HEIGHTENED EMOTIONS : When a disagreement or argument arrises our emotional attachment to it also flares up. Emotions tend to blow situations out of proportion because the influx of anger, frustration, or whatever intense emotion you are feeling can psychologically cloud rational thinking. They are legitimate feelings that you can acknowledge but often not act upon or respond to until you have had time to calm down.
- IRRATIONAL THOUGHTS: You're emotional brain has taken over and you will be unable to rationally discuss and come to an accord.
- REGRETFUL WORDS: You're probably going to say something hurtful that you wish you could take back. Hold your tongue so you don't have double trouble when you finally are able to resolve the issue.
- STAND-STILL: When the argument has gone on continuously without resolution you may just be beating a dead horse. You're not going to get anywhere going round and round, exhausted, emotionally charged, and all wound up. Get some sleep and come back to the issue AFTER you have taken some time to calm down, eat something, journal about it, and SLEEP ON IT. Do whatever you need to do for you to be able to process the real issue at hand have a calm rational discussion.
Not only has scientific study proven the correlation between emotions, anger and brain function, but I can also personally affirm that when I let my emotions into the mix things can get a little messy. I don't like to admit it but I'm only human and well, life happens! I go into fight or flight mode and can let my thoughts and emotions run wild. Fortunately I am aware of this fact and know how to hit pause, reflect and think more clearly. Often times this means waiting 24 hours and doing some yoga before I return to the topic. When I take this time to calm down and wait before I react I find much more peace and ease in coming to a resolution.
“Focus attention on the feeling inside you. Know that it is the pain-body. Accept that it is there. Don't think about it - don't let the feeling turn into thinking. Don't judge or analyze. Don't make an identity for yourself out of it. Stay present, and continue to be the observer of what is happening inside you. Become aware not only of the emotional pain but also of "the one who observes," the silent watcher. This is the power of the Now, the power of your own conscious presence. Then see what happens.”