HURT MORE, SUFFER LESS
“A well-thought-out principle and long-term view can guide decision making in preference to acting on feelings and anxiety in the moment” (Kerr, 2019).
It hurts more in the ‘here and now’ to manage one’s own impulse to react. My older child has hit my younger child, my partner has not offered to pick me up from the airport on my way back from a work trip, my best friend has not returned my calls. What ‘hurts’ in the moment when one chooses not to yell, not to distance and not to complain, is experiencing the discomfort of one’s heart racing, one’s chest tightening, one’s irritability increasing. In the here and now of one’s automatic reactivity we do not pay attention to what we are actually experiencing. Unless we train ourselves to observe our physiology and feeling state in the moment, we are not present to it, we simply jump from ‘I don’t like what you are doing’ to reacting to what the other is doing. We do not see our part in the dance: the part where we are reacting to someone else’s action or reaction. It is not pleasant to observe our anxiety and stress response, which is why instead of observing it we react. A reaction is an action fuelled by an emotion/feeling/stress-