How to stop being frustrated

A few years ago, at the Gold’s gym in Bandra, Mumbai, a few of us were waiting for the lift — and yes, I do see the irony of using an elevator to go to a gym 🙂

As time passed, one guy got restless and kept pressing the ‘up’ button again and again. And since the lift was slow, he got even more frustrated and then pressed the ‘down’ button.

When the lift came and stopped for the ‘down’ traffic — there was nobody. So when the lift door started closing, he got angrier and again pressed the ‘down’ button. The lift door re-opened. Yikes!

At that point, I guess, people wanted to restrain him physically.

I am not judging this guy – on a few occasions, I have myself pressed the lift button more than once.

But why do we do this? Here is why:

Our brain has two minds, a thinking mind, and an emotional mind that responds reflexively. When the lift doesn’t show up, it is our emotional mind that automatically responds with frustration.

To override these autopilot responses, we need greater mindfulness, which meditation can help cultivate.

If we wait for the world to give us what we want every single time, we will spend our lives in misery.

What if we could just accept what already is — whether it is the wait-time at the elevator or in a traffic jam?

– Rajan

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