Noticing the end

the-end-by-alice-popcorn

“I’m getting hungry.”

“I’m getting bored.”

“I’m getting angry.”

We do a pretty good job of being aware when difficult or unpleasant feelings start, but we’re often less skilful at noticing when they end.

By not calling out the end of something which we perceive to be tough or negative, we become blind to how fleeting these feelings actually are.

If we feel ourselves becoming angry often, we can begin to believe that we’re always angry. From there it’s easy for us to assume that it’s a fixed trait and not a fleeting experience.

It’s easier to notice in others than ourselves.

When we notice other people acting like arseholes, it’s often because they’re carrying around feelings from one context and applying them to the next. They’re assuming that their old feelings still exist and still apply.

It’s an insidious problem with a simple remedy.

To regain the perspective on how fleeting and ephemeral these feelings actually are, we just need to pay a little more attention to them.

By taking the time to step back from a feeling and call it out objectively we then get a sense of how short it’s life cycle actually is.

And this might be by literally saying to yourself “Woah, there is some real anger there”.

The feeling rises. We notice it. And by stepping back to look at it, we rob it of the fuel it needs to sustain itself, so it then begins to subside. If we watch it for long enough (often just a matter of seconds), we can observe it diminish and then disappearing completely.

We can avoid the trap of being miserable ourselves and of being arseholes to others. By noticing the fleeting nature of the bad vibes we experience, we allow ourselves to approach each new situation with the freshest mind possible.