Opinion: Let it go, live longer

By Norm Ferguson, Taos
Posted 5/16/19

Equanimity means "evenness of mind, especially under stress," to remain calm when the pressure is on.Doing this allows us to think clearly and to decide what is the most effective thing to do under …

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Opinion: Let it go, live longer

Posted

Equanimity means "evenness of mind, especially under stress," to remain calm when the pressure is on.

Doing this allows us to think clearly and to decide what is the most effective thing to do under the circumstance. It is the proverbial "counting to 10" before acting.

People vary widely in terms of what causes them stress, but things such as receiving unexpected bad news or a sudden and unexpected challenge either verbal or physical may cause us to "blow our top." When this happens we are overwhelmed with emotion and our rational thought processes are often put on hold. In such a circumstance we may become verbally and/or physically abusive.

Do you know some people who have a hard time "controlling their temper"? How about yourself? Are there certain situations or people who cause you to "lose it"? Discussions involving religion or politics often lead people to lose their equanimity. Many people harbor deep-seated feelings and beliefs regarding these matters. For example, put a "red hot" Republican and a "dyed-in-the-wool" Democrat in a discussion about a political issue and the sparks are likely to fly. As someone once said, such discussions often generate more "heat than light." Add alcohol to such discussions and things can get out of hand very quickly, both verbally and physically.

I have never seen or heard anyone change their mind as a result of a discussion/argument about religion or politics. Venting may release pent-up emotions, but it often leads to bad outcomes such as broken friendships or family relationships. Most people grow up with deep-seated beliefs, especially about religion and politics.

Do you or someone you know have a short fuse about one of these issues? As we age, we generally become "set in our ways" and there is probably little chance that debate or discussion will change our minds. So, let it go.

Show some equanimity - it will keep your blood pressure down and you may live longer.

Norm Ferguson lives and writes in Taos.

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