People are always telling others to “think before you act”, and I get this a lot being someone who throws a punch first and apologizes for it when the damage has been done. But when I ask, how long do I think? And when a situation is right in front of me and I’m dying to take action, what in the world do I think about? How can I even think properly when all that’s reverberating in my head is “throw a punch, throw a punch”? Psychologically, we are incapable of a decent though-process when the object of conflict is right before our eyes and our natural instincts replace the rational voice that tells us what’s wrong and what’s right.
A solution I’ve discovered quite recently is the “count to ten” habit. When something is stressing me out, or when my parents are giving me a lecture and I’m just dying to shout back, I close my eyes and count to ten. And I don’t mean onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten! I count slowly, emphasizing each number with a deep breath. When I open my eyes, I no longer see red- everything is clear, and my temper has dissipated. Not a bad idea, huh?