automatic-appraisal mechanisms save us those moments or minutes.

Often, our automatic appraisals can, and do, save us from disaster by shaving those moments or minutes required by reflective appraising. On the positive side, there is an opportunity for us to influence what transpires when emotions begin as a result of reflective appraisal.* To do so we need to be well acquainted with our own emotional hot triggers—the specific variations on the universal themes that are most prominent in our lives for each emotion. Reading about the themes and common variations in chapters 5 through 9 may help you figure out your own personal hot triggers and those of the people around you. If we know our hot triggers, then we can make a deliberate effort not to allow them to bias our interpretation of what is transpiring. Suppose a trigger for your sadness/anguish reaction is the subtlest hint that a woman is going to abandon you because she has discovered your closely guarded secret, your (learned) feelings of fundamental worthlessness. When time is available, you can use reflective appraising to guard against the judgment that you are being abandoned. It won't come easily, but with practice it may be possible to decrease the chance that you will snap into sadness/anguish when you were not really being abandoned. Reflective appraisal gives your conscious mind more of a role. You have the opportunity to learn how deliberately to guard against the likelihood of misinterpreting what is happening. We can also become emotional when remembering a past emotional scene. We may choose to remember the scene, reworking it in our mind, going over it to figure out what happened, or why it happened, or how we might have acted differently. Or, the memory may not be a choice; it may be unbidden, popping into our mind. Regardless of how the memory begins, whether by choice or unbidden, it may include from the start not just the scene and the script of what transpired emotionally, but an emotional reaction. We may
"After speaking with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama about what he terms destructive emotions and the attempts made through Buddhist practices to become free of them, I had the impression that what he and others have achieved is substituting reflective for automatic appraising. With many years of practice it seems possible to have the choice, most of the time, not to become emotional, or, when emotional, to act and speak in a way that will not be harmful to others. In the coming years I hope to be able to do research to learn more about how this is achieved, and whether there are other means to accomplish it in a shorter time.