The Scene: Following the slowest driver ever, and running late.
The Thought: "This person is making me late, could they seriously drive any slower!!!"
The Feeling: Annoyed with a sprinkling of self pity because this always happens when I'm running behind.
Eventually, I got it together and asked these 3 questions:
1. Is my attitude helping the situation?
Clearly 'no'. The situation was going to play out in exactly the same way whether I was boiling over, or not. If anything, my frustration was making me a worse driver, so it was probably doing more harm.
2. Does this feel good?
Nope. The only person feeling the effects of my negative emotions was myself. Why would I choose to feel like crummy on purpose? I hated the knot in my stomach.
3. What is the worst thing that can happen, and can I handle it?
The answer was, "be late for teaching my yoga class", and "yes, I can handle whatever arises from that situation. An apology, a refund, a longer class are all within my control."
After that, everything changed. I said "yes" to the situation.
And my brain started coming up with thoughts that were much more helpful...
"Maybe this is meant to happen to keep me safe." "This is a good practice for staying calm" "I'll have something to share with my class when I teach."
Notice, I didn't change the situation at all... only my reaction to the situation.