The other day I was in the car, on my way to a client meeting.
One lane was closed due to roadworks, slowly all the cars had to merge into my lane.
I was relaxed, I had, for once, planned for enough time. I actually enjoyed being present in my own space.
Suddenly this car speeds up on my right, and forces its way into my lane!
Right in front of me! I hit the breaks hard and just about avoided to rear end the car!
Bam! – from one moment to the next – I was ANGRY.
Oh, was I angry.
My thought reel spun: “How could he!” “How reckless!” “How ignorant!” “How intrusive!”
All my peacefulness was gone. I was livid!
I call this an exemplary re-action.
A random trigger (the car cutting in) kicks off an emotion (fright) which kicks off thoughts (How ignorant!) which kick off more emotions (anger) which kick off more thoughts which kick off more emotions.
A perfect loop of learned and ingrained habits, re-actions, reflexive actions when emotions/thoughts take the wheel.