You are running late. The person in front of you has their foot on the brake, even though the light is green. You can see the driver chatting away, obliviously, on his cell phone.
You are angry. Maybe you hit the steering wheel, grunt, scream or let out a “WTF?”
Once you start driving again, you wonder what came over you. You aren’t an angry person, so why did something so small make you so damn mad. You handle big crisis with grace and yet, you can’t get through a traffic light without threatening someone’s life under your breath.
Maybe that’s just me, but if this sounds familiar, this mini-mission is for you. Calm Down. All day long we react to annoying situations.
- Bad drivers
- Poor cell phone etiquette
- Farmville farmers
- Express line offenders
- The guy in front of you at the coffee shop that is ordering for their entire company, when all you want is simple soy dry cappuccino. (ok, that’s mostly me)
While we can’t always control what we are faced with, we can decide how we react. Here is a 3 step plan that will work for those annoying situations that make you want to pull your hair out.
Your 3 Step Calm Down Plan
- Take a deep breath. Just one deep breath will bring you back to earth and let you act from a more stable place than where you were with your fist waving out the window.
- Smile. You might not be happy, but a little grin will remind you not to take things so seriously. Don’t worry about looking slightly deranged with your angry grin, it will soften into something more genuine over time.
- Tell a story. When something, or someone is really making you mad, especially something you have no control over, like someone going through the 10 and under line with 50 items in the grocery store, make up a story. Replace your urge to hurt someone with a made up story that will make you like the person, or at least pity them. For instance. “That poor woman must have dropped her glasses on the way into the store and couldn’t see that this line is clearly for people checking out with just a few items.” or “That man’s wife must be in labor at the hospital and he is on his cell phone, sitting still at a green light, because he is her labor coach and helping her through a contraction.”
Use this at home too. What simple little thing makes you crazy? An open toilet seat? Dog hair on the couch? A wet towel in the laundry pile? Clothes on the floor instead of in the closet? Follow the steps above, and you’ll find it hard to hold a grudge over something so unimportant.
What situations annoy you? Share in the comment section and I’ll help you calm down.
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For more experiments to simplify your life, read Mini-missions for Simplicity. It’s available on the Amazon Kindle store, but you don’t need a Kindle to read it. Kindle books can also be read using the Free Kindle Reader App for your Web Browser, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, or Android.