Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Taking A Deep Breath

There are many things in life that can seriously aggravate us. The hardest thing to do is to let things go and allow life to continue. We all have days when we want to just march into our boss' office and scream at them for being jerks or want to turn to that one person who is being really ridiculous in our car while driving and tell them to get out and walk. And for some of us, that really does seem like a stress relieving option, but what's something that can prevent us from actually reliving one of those close and effect commercials from Time Warner Cable (?) depicting the end of our lives as we know it.
Through research and self-observation, I have come up with several ways to get myself to take that 15 second pause that allows me to rethink what I am about to do and find a different answer. Disclaimer: these are things that work for me, but I will not guarantee their success for another human being or other such being since they/you are not me. I do encourage you to try and find some ways that help you rather than punching that alleged nincompoop in the face. Yes, I did just use the insult nincompoop :) I like that one, along with butt-faced miscreant (10 puts to whomever catches my reference here).

1. Take a deep breath. Sure this person is being annoying and/or immature, but that doesn't mean that you have to stoop to that level. Pausing a moment and taking a deep breath allows us to recollect our thoughts and rethink what is going on. Also, a calm look can help an aggressor calm down (or may not help depending on the person) or at least realize that you are listening but are not happy with their reaction.

2. Count to 10 slowly in your head. I'm sure everyone has heard this at least once in their lives, but honestly it works well for me. Remember, countingthose extra few seconds could really save a relationship.

3. Listen to some of your favorite music. Getting aggrivated is never a good thing, it's even worse when you have to hide your aggravation and annoyance until you are in a more private setting. This will happen more for staff with clients and parents with children. Keep a smile on, but when you're alone or at least more private, put on some music that can calm you or at least get you to take several deep breaths. While I listen to classical music and soundtracks, some people claim that heavy metal makes them feel better. To each their own!

4. Drink some tea. Coffee really isn't good while adrenaline is high and you need to calm down, not really its purpose, but some nice herbal tea is always good!!

5. Write out your feelings. For you creative types, this is an awesome way to get true feelings onto paper or in your paintings, or for the writers, want some true emotions expressed by your characters? As Robert Frost said: "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader." In order to allow your characters to sound legitimate in their feelings and emotions, you have to believe them yourself. What better way than to write out how you feel in that mindset?

6. Talk it out. Remember, life will continue after this incident. Is this incident worth loosing a friend or a client? I'm guessing it is not. Listen to their side of the story and try to understand then explain your side without pointing fingers (I understand how hard it is to do that) so that you both understand how yeach other were feeling and how you ca hopefully prevent this in the future. 

7. Take a 5+ minute cool off period. Go for a run, go at it with a punching bag, sing, write, whatever it is. Just take those five or more minutes to cool off and let your mind calm down enough for you to think clearly again. I've found this also works when I'm frustrated or on the verge of tears.

I know that these ideas do sound a lot like what a psychologist would say, and maybe I just missed my calling when I decided I didn't want more school, but these are things that help me. Why do you think some of my posts end up raw like this? I write when I have something to write about and the past week and a half have been hectic to say the least, at both jobs, and  today way just the icing on top of the cupcake of shitty weeks. Yet, I'm still here, no one is dead and no one is aggrivated due to the situation, and PianoGuys is playing very nicely in the background as I write this. Today will end up as a good day after all I think!

What do you guys do when you get aggrivated? What are some of your coping mechanisms?

Sara :)

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