If you are ‘on guard’ for anyone or anything that ‘gets in your way,’ you are letting your reptile brain rule. The part of your brain that is on alert for any kind of attack is your reptile brain. When used for good, instead of evil, the reptile brain will ensure that you get out of life threatening situations and that you don’t starve to death. Any other time you are using your reptile brain, you are in reaction mode to threats that only exist in your mind.
If you are using stress, hunger, pain, tiredness, poor me-ness, etc. as your excuse for behaving badly then it is high time you realize that behaving badly is simply your choice. If someone cuts you off in traffic are you absolutely positive their intent was to get ahead of you? To harm you personally? If the 15th telemarketer that day calls, at dinner time, can he actually ruin your whole day? If you are hasseled at work and or at home, everyone wants something and you are responsible for all, does it really solve your problems to be p o'd at the check-out clerk?
There are better behaviors. There a better choices. People in actual crisis and dealing with life and death can and have learned to behave admirably, with class, with dignity, with inspiration.
Step number One: Awareness. Become aware of your thoughts. How do you do this? Stop what you are doing. Breathe in and out a few times, then, observe what you are thinking. Picture the stream of words running across you mind. What are you telling yourself? Are you surprised how much is going on in there?
Step Number Two: Observe. What are the thoughts and how are they affecting you? Are you clenching your jaw, tightening your fists, breathing shallowly, choking? Is what you’re thinking true? What is actually going on? The ‘incident’ is just a trigger. But, a trigger for what?
Step Three: Detach. As you observe your thoughts you can begin to detach from them. You’ll come to realize that they are causing reactions. After some extended practice, you can begin to let go of the fight or flight response that exists. You’ll become aware of an underlying calm that is always present, even when your thoughts and emotions are in an uproar. You’ll find that moods and worries begin to move through you, instead of dominating your life. You’ll gradually learn by actual experience that your thoughts are not you.
Step Four: Make Better Choices. Once you become aware, observe and then detach from your most ingrained thoughts and responses you can replace them with better thoughts and responses. If you find you have real issues, problems/circumstances that need to be dealt with in order for things to change, don’t just grin and bear it, get some help. Take some steps to learn new behaviors and make decisions.
Have I ever behaved badly? Of course! Your behavior, my behavior, good or bad is always a choice.