The ability to switch your mode of attitude in an instant – or at least in a short period of time – is a powerful concept that I realise has been with me for a long period of my life.
When my parents told me to have an attitude adjustment, they were really telling me to switch modes out of a bad mood and into a better one. I definitely remember times after some form of family stouch, when I just decided not to be grumpy anymore (but probably to access some form of bribery). More recently, I have made the attempt to switch modes into one of a more outgoing and charismatic nature for a customer service role at the supermarket deli (with varying success).
And now, this concept has once again been reinforced in me through meditation. Employing mindfulness invites you to switch from your everyday mode of life, into one of heightened awareness and concentration. Your ability to quickly and effectively switch modes predicts your capability to deal with stress, anger, and other negative emotions when they arrive.
In the moment of experiencing these emotions, meditation practise gives you the degrees of freedom to identify the upwelling of these emotions, to realise that they don’t need to control your thoughts & behaviours, and switch modes into one of detached observation of your emotional status.
In a more global context (i.e. in terms of your life), switching modes allows you to observe a negative pattern of thought, or a sub-optimal approach you’re taking to a task… or in life in general. Then, in a instant, you can adjust and reframe your experience in a purposeful, positive direction!