Today started off on the wrong foot, in so many ways. I woke up late (like, the time at which I am normally walking out the door late.) In my flustered state, I dropped or spilled or totally forgot to apply just about every single item I routinely use to get ready in the mornings.
I ran downstairs only to discover that Rosie had gotten sick last night in our entryway (on the plus side, I avoided stepping in it and having to change!)
After cleaning that mess up, I made several more as I rushed through getting my work stuff in order, making lunch, and eating breakfast on the run. To my surprise, I was in my car and ready to leave at a time that would only have me running about five minutes late!
Alas, on my drive in, I was surprised with not one, but TWO detours, all while stuck behind a very, very slow bus.
While it was indeed a stressful morning, and each new hurdle initially had my heart racing and negative thoughts a-brewing, I put into practice a calming method that I read on Love Taza’s blog a few months ago.
The minute I’d feel myself start to get agitated or worked up, I would repeatedly think, “This is not an emergency.”
I’ve tried keeping this top of mind day to day and week to week over the last several months, and it’s instances like this when it’s especially powerful. It may sound silly, the idea of repeating this little mantra to stay calm. How can a simple phrase make a difference when you feel like things are out of your control, or totally falling apart?
It does, though. It works like a charm. Repeating those five words – “This is not an emergency” – in times of high stress, whether in my head or out loud, brings me back down and helps me to focus on the moment, instead of all of the craziness that’s happening (or rather, that I feel is happening) around me.
When I say it to myself, it causes me to start thinking, “Okay, I’m in this situation and I’m stressed out about it. But, what’s the worst thing that’s going to come from it?” Other times, it leads me to think,”I’m freaking out about this inconvenience right now, but how many people, at this very moment, are experiencing something incredibly negative that truly requires this amount of stress and worry? I’m lucky.”
Most of the time when we feel ourselves getting stressed out, irritated, impatient, or downright panicked about a situation, it’s not an actual emergency. We should be saving those feelings and that energy for the unfortunate times when we are experiencing a legitimate crisis.
Easier said than done, I know. However, hopefully the reminder to practice being a little more mindful, and the suggestion to use this simple, yet powerful method (along with some deep breathing), will help you every now and then, during high stress moments that result from the occasional disruptions that are bound to happen to your routines and plans.
What are some ways you ground yourself and stay calm when things aren’t going your way? I’d love to hear them! I hope your week is off to a great start,and that your days go smoothly, friends!