It is often the pause, not the event that is life changing. Between the event and your reaction lies a very small space. That space might only be a quarter of a second long. But if you practice inserting a longer pause in that space, you give yourself time to think about how you want to react.
Viktor Frankl, neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor put it so well, ”Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Yes, that space can be lengthened. But it takes a lot of mindful practice and focus. You can change what feels like an automatic response into an automatic pause. It really is all about the pause.