A Peaceful Response (to Stress and Conflict)
Welcome to Day 7 of the Peaceful Summer Challenge. I hope you are enjoying this foray into living more peacefully.
Today we'll explore ways to be more peaceful in response to stress and conflict which we all experience from time to time.
We touched upon these a bit earlier in our challenge.
The first lesson we learned was that stretching the muscles helps us release pent-up tension.
When our muscles feel relaxed, we tend to live more peacefully.
So when a situation does arise, someone who has made stretching a part of their routine will be able to handle the matter in a more peaceful way.
We also learned that conflict is normal. Embracing a peace-making attitude means taking disagreements in stride.
Peaceful people tend to have a good handle on their emotions. They manoeuver smoothly through conflict. This leads to healthy communication and compromise.
Peaceful people don't get ruffled by the little things that happen each day.
When we feel relaxed, we can work toward peaceful compromise.
That makes things more peaceful for everyone.
EXERCISE: Practice Choosing the Peaceful Response.
Run through the below scenarios. Compare a "typical" response versus a peaceful one.
Scenario 1: The line-cutter.
You're waiting in a supermarket queue. Another shopper cuts in front of you in line.
Typical response: Shoot the person a dirty look, but say nothing.
Aggressive response: Confront and accuse. Get into her space and loudly demand to know why she thinks she has a right to cut in front of you.
Peaceful response: Smile, make eye contact. Realise that you don't know why she is in a hurry. Don't let it affect your day or your mood.
Scenario 2: Stress at work.
Your boss tells you that you can leave work early but then she doesn't bring it up again. She even gives you a late-day rush assignment to handle.
Typical response: You feel slighted. You rattle off an angry email to a friend, complaining about how your boss wouldn't let you leave. You resentfully handle the rush job, grumbling the whole time. Then you sit at your desk and stew, vowing to quit soon. You blow off the last hour of work, venting to coworkers.
Peaceful response 1: Recognise that your boss is only human, and may have forgotten her promise. Politely remind her that you were granted permission to go home early. If it's a fairly urgent matter, be sure your boss knows that you must leave to take care of something important, and go.
Peaceful response 2: If your need for time off isn't urgent after all, remind your boss of her promise anyway. Ask if the rush job can be handled by someone else. Suggest that you are available to handle it (if you are) and can reschedule the afternoon off if it will help her out. See what she says, and be agreeable to a compromise.
At the end of the day, sit down with pen and paper. Journaling on the computer can seem convenient, sure. But screen time isn't quite as peaceful. So, sit with your writing pad and let your thoughts flow.
For today's journal exercise, run through all of the day's stressors. Think about the big things, like getting into an argument, if that happened.
Also think about the petty things, like having to tell your kids to hurry up several times.
Run through the stressful or conflict-laden events of the day. Write down what happened and how you handled it.
Sit back and read through the stories.
Did you manage to work through difficulties with a peaceful, patient heart or did you scowl, snap and grumble?
Did you show patience and kindness to others or did you accuse, blame or belittle?
Hopefully you took the peaceful path in your day's dealings. But if you didn't, tomorrow is another chance.
Write down some words or phrases that will help you remember to be understanding and empathetic toward others tomorrow. Things like…
Offer benefit of the doubt.
(Make a list of your own ideas on how to show peace and patience to others.)
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