Taking a deep breath is often associated with meditation, because it helps to reset the mind and allows you to return to clear thinking. Meditation is powerful, and the theory behind it is battletested in psychology as well. It’s also easier than you think.
The thing about your mind is, it’s basically one big engine that is constantly running. From the second we get up until the second we fall asleep, our brains are constantly spinning and whirling around. Your thoughts are being processed as emotions, guiding your actions, thinking, feeling, acting every second of the day!
Even in your sleep your brain is active, it gets no rest at all. The thing about engines is eventually they start to overheat. The same thing is true about your brain, it needs rest otherwise it will go haywire.
This is where meditation comes in.
Now I understand if you think it’s wacky, I used to as well. That’s the thing about our subconscious mind, it really isn’t measurable. Our subconscious dictates so much about our thoughts and feelings, but we can’t really easily understand it. However, we do know that if we give it time to rest, it will respond very positively and we will gain more control over ourselves. We are calm, more focused, less prone to anger, all through 10-15 minutes of meditation and reflection a day.
You can meditate anytime, anywhere.
Any time you take some time to yourself, and have a conversation with yourself in your own mind, that’s meditation. For some people, that looks like cooking, for others it looks like sitting with your back straight, hands in your lap, eyes closed, and breathing with purpose. Some people even do it with their furry companions, or human children! If you’re totally lost, guided meditation videos such as this one are a great starting place.
Meditation is about being fully present. It’s not about repressing thoughts, or trying to shut down your brain. When you meditate, you are more focused on simply being aware of your thoughts, as if you were watching them float by while you simply observe them.
This kind of awareness, when translated to feelings of tilt, allows you to recognize and control your anger, without actually allowing yourself to be guided by those thoughts or feelings. Full presence is the enemy of ego, while you are fully present your ego cannot control you or your emotions. Full presence is often called the “flow state,” a state that many top poker pros and other successful people are very good at getting into.
Look, if you can control your ego and be fully present at the table, it simply doesn’t matter if you get angry over something. Everyone gets angry, it’s part of being alive. You are built to control a certain amount tilt at the table, but you will also be able to approach your day to day life with a more focused and present attitude.