I had a conversation with a friend today who briefly worked in the customer service department of a flower delivery company. She said that customers would call her and become irate and angry if their flowers were delivered late or the bouquet wasn’t exactly as they’d imagined it. My friend told me she often wished she could tell those customers to take half an hour to meditate and call back.
In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often forget to look at the big picture. Our egos turn minor inconveniences into personal attacks. So we shout at customer service representatives or we flip people off in traffic for cutting in front of us. This kind of reaction to the minor disappointments in life accomplishes nothing and only serves to create more animosity and stress. We are doing ourselves no favors by overreacting. Instead, we should take a moment and ask ourselves how important such minor frustrations are and whether they warrant an impassioned reactions.
Indeed, my friend is right. Meditating helps us to notice the brief instant between experiencing an emotion and reacting to it. During that instant, those with a strong meditation practice often step back and consciously decide how to react to an emotion. They do not allow the emotion to control them. Therefore, meditation is extremely useful in helping us to cope with the everyday frustrations of life.