Many times playing ball hockey I see a player who is on the verge of getting so upset that they almost attack another player. Keep in mind, I said, "almost". So why the change in heart?

You see, hockey can be an aggressive sport, especially when you're playing a very competitive team. Sometimes, when you're in the corner battling to get the ball, it can get very physical and tempers could play a factor in who loses the battle.

I've noticed over the years one very important factor that determines whether or not a battle for the ball turns into a fight. What I've noticed is that the length of time battling for the ball has a direct correlation with whether or not tempers get heated enough to cause a fight.

The longer the battle, the more of a chance of the situation getting out of hand. In addition, the shorter the battle the less of a chance that things will get out of hand.

So why is this? I believe that one of the key elements that determines why aggression levels cool down during a game of ball hockey occurs when the aggressive player takes a break from the battle. It gives the player time to cool down, regain their composure and concentrate on the end goal (winning the game as opposed to starting a fight).

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The same often happens in life. Sometimes we don't take enough time to step back and cool down during an argument and this often leads to rash decisions. What we need to understand here is that when our emotions are high during an argument, it can be very difficult to think rationally. When we are not thinking rationally, it is very easy to act in a way that is not productive.

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But what happens when we step back? A few very important things happen when we give ourselves a break from the drama.

  1. When we take a step back we allow ourselves time to cool down and regain our composure.
  2. When we take a step back we can remind ourselves that the object of the argument is not to prove the other person wrong but to get to a resolution.
  3. When we take as step back we allow our minds to concentrate on something other than the argument. If we concentrate on something positive, this may have the ability to help us calm down and re-enter the conversation with the end goal of resolution as opposed to just wanting to prove the other person wrong.

Newton's first law of motion says, "a body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted on by an external force". Well, the same kind of thing holds true in this situation.

The "external force" here is the act of stepping back and taking a break. This allows us to gather our thoughts, regain our composure and enter the conversation with the goal of understanding as opposed to just proving the other person wrong.

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The goal here is to balance our emotions with our ability to maintain the conversation productively (as opposed to just being right). Taking a step back can have many benefits, not only in arguments but in life in general.

The mind, like a muscle, needs rest. Resting the mind allows it to function the way it's supposed to.


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