Getting annoyed

One of the aims of mindfulness and practicing meditation is to get better at responding to things rather than reacting to them. To take calm, appropriate action when needed rather than to get bent out of shape because things aren't how we expect them to be.

This isn't to say that you end up as some chilled out, passive, punch bag for the world. In fact strong but considered responses are more likely to change things for the better than flying off the handle every time the world doesn't confirm to our expectations.

This is why many of us who have been early adopters of the online lifestyle have become interested in meditation. We have experienced the consequences of letting every online spat wind us up. From "don't feed the troll" to "wait an hour before responding to that email" we have developed techniques to mitigate the power that the internet gives people to press our buttons and meditation helps take this further and deeper.

In fact the internet has for me become a way of extending my practice. Noticing when a comment has triggered a response, watching my reactions, feeling my muscles tense and heart race. Really paying attention to my feelings, and in the moment it takes to do this achieving even a modest distancing from my emotional reaction. Realising that I am not that reaction. I am more than that.

Every day we get to see the consequences of people not applying this understanding. Extremes of vitriol and polarised attitudes are becoming widespread. But it doesn't have to be like this. We can learn to do better. We can learn about ourselves. We can use the opportunity to go deeper rather than to flail around on the surface.

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