You’re having one of those days when everything is falling apart. Nothing you do is going smoothly and worse, it’s all way more complicated than it should be and you’re about to lose it. Try these four things when everything is going wrong.
Breathe. You might be surprised to know that you forget to breathe quite a bit. Perhaps you’re intensely focused on something, worried, thinking about what you’re going to say, reading email. (Yes, indeed. People often hold their breath when reading email.) Those activities cause you to interrupt a normal breathing pattern which leads to stress and anxiety. [Tweet “Breathing is the human reboot.”] Do the 5-5-5-5. Inhale for 5 counts. Hold it for 5 counts. Exhale for 5 counts. Repeat 5 times.
Reframe. Sometimes you’re getting a sucky result but only because you chose to do the right thing in the first place. Parenting is a great example. Your kid resents you for intruding into his business and you get into an argument. Reframe. At least you’re an attentive parent who is involved in your child’s life. Good decision that will pay off in the long run. This tension will pass.
Give Up. You’re trying to set up an important meeting and people aren’t responding. You’ve sent emails and followed up with phone calls and nothing. For now, give up. You cannot make people do anything and in your heightened state of irritation you may be giving off a vibe that makes them put you further down on their list of priorities. Let it go for a day. Remember that whatever it is isn’t life or death. Unless of course, it is.
Get Mad. Trying to hold in your anger can be toxic but neither is it advisable to unleash your anger on other people. That doesn’t mean you can’t get mad. My mom used to have these stuffed “dammit” dolls. Essentially a body and two legs. You grab it by the legs and slam the body on the table while saying ‘dammit!” through clenched teeth. Clever, eh? Or go sit in your car and yell. Scream into a pillow. Just get it out and move on.