January 12, 2017: Dealing with Political Triggers

Getting riled up by political comments on social media, on the street, or in the news?

A mindfulness strategy of compassionate investigation can help channel anger and worry when we are triggered. While we may fall short of the ideal, we can at least try to open our hearts, get curious, and ask ourselves questions like:
·         Why might that person have written/said what he or she did? What might be going on in his/her life to feel that way?
·         What are my own initial reactions? How do those thoughts register in my body – what do they feel like, physically?
·         What do I value that I perceive is being threatened by the person’s comment?
·         Do I feel called to take positive action in support of my values?

Identifying our values can help us de-personalize and shift toward actions like contacting legislators, writing letters-to-the-editor, giving support to organizations working toward our values; or talking to people who think differently in a genuine attempt to understand their views.
This is how our struggles can become our best guides. Exploring them with compassion can lead the way to taking enlightened action. And that’s liberating. 

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