Thursday, July 30, 2009

Keeping Cool

There's a reason why our language has the phrase, "keep your cool" in it.

We're having a heat wave here in Seattle. It is HOT!

I'm noticing that people's tempers are a bit short. People are irritable. It is hard to find relief from the heat. As we've 'lost the cool' in our outer environment, many people are losing their cool temperamentally.

It's important to 'keep cool.' Getting overheated physically can be dangerous. In hot weather like this we need to make sure we stay well hydrated, and not allow our bodies to succumb to the heat. We can do ourselves great harm if we don't take good care of ourselves in extreme heat.

Emotionally speaking, it is just as damaging to have melt downs and explosions. When we slide off the edge of the cliff and lose our ability to handle our emotions responsibly we often make situations worse for ourselves. When we have 'lost our cool' emotionally, we don't make good decisions. We often lash out at others or further complicate our challenges with irrational actions that we later regret.

Just as it takes thought and careful action to keep our bodies cool in a heat wave, it takes cultivated skills to keep ourselves calm when we are being irritated.

Watching our reactions to life and other people, and taking responsibility for our feelings is the first step towards being able to keep our cool in times of stress and crisis.

Observation, deep breathing, and thinking through our actions is what's called for. We don't want to ignore our intense emotions, but we do want to balance them with our thinking mind before we take action.

Stay cool out there! Stay cool inside yourself too!