Realize what you lose
First, you need to notice what is lost when you get irritated with someone or something. Maybe you feel that “you’re right. The other is wrong.” You feel protected by the thought. However, at the same time, you lose a sense of fulfillment, feeling of well-being and love for your life because you can’t have two opposite feelings simultaneously. “Realize what you lose” here means to understand it is you who choose to be irritated and therefore lack a sense of fulfillment. Before I try this method, a crowded train made me really mad. Too many people are in the same train. “Oh, my goodness. There are too many people crammed in here. I cannot even stand straight. Please give me more space!!” Now, I understand that I was protected by the thought, “I’m right. The others who are on this train are wrong.” You know, how stupid this thinking is? Others in the car may also have exactly the same feeling. “YOU get off of the train. YOU should choose another train. YOU are wrong. I am right.” At that time, I gained a greater understanding that “It was I who chose to be irritated” and that I lacked consideration/humanity to others by choosing that feeling. After I realized that, I can be calm on a crowded train. So, All you have to do is capture what you lose.
Catch and release
Once you realize that you lose happy feeling when you’re irritated, then imagine you have a glass filled with such an irritating feeling. If you visualize this “irritating feeling’s glass”, you can catch the glass and put the feelings aside. You’ll find there is empty room/space in your heart. Even though you cannot avoid being irritated, you can shift your focus away from negative feelings. One day, I had an appointment for lunch with my friend. We were supposed to have a room reserved, but by accident, the restaurant didn’t keep our reservation. I almost complained to the clerk of the restaurant and almost insisted getting a room at another nearby restaurants immediately. However, I was able to catch these feelings and put them aside. I shifted my focus away from the irritating feelings and told him OK. I was be able to be calm and feel sympathy even for the clerk.
Accept facts as they are
When you find “room” in your heart after you put aside your negative feelings, you can accept facts as they are. ”Accept a thing as it is” means to take it literally without your interpretation. Supposed that you are a high school boy and you asked a beautiful girl on a date named Emily, who is one of your classmates. Emily is very friendly, always smiles and is kind. She is actually very popular in a class. You want to talk with her more and more. Unfortunately, she rejected going on a date with you. What are the facts? Does it mean “Emily hates you”? No, the fact is just “Emily turned down your invitation”. That’s all. “Emily doesn’t like you” is your thought about the experience not the fact. She might have another appointment on the same day or might be sick. Accepting is to differentiate the fact and your assumption. Do not confuse the fact with your own assumption. Take it as what happened.