This morning I woke up from bad dreams and got up on the wrong side of the bed. I had nightmares about missing trains, forgetting appointments, and my car falling apart underneath me, as I drove it. I felt exhausted and cross!
For the next hour, I was a blur of packing lunches, getting us out the door, running back inside to fetch the laptop charger – things that make a morning stressful. Then it started pouring rain.
When I arrived at the office, how did I manage to shake off these terrible feelings of anxiety and stress?
Well, I can tell you three things I didn’t do:
- drink the free instant coffee as this would heighten my anxiety
- chat with my complaining neighbor who really wanted to talk to me because I would either get irritated with her or her bad news
- blame other people (the bus strike, Joburg drivers, God) because when I blame (which I get tempted to do, often) I lose power instantly
and three things I did do:
- shut the door and sat quietly for three minutes using my Insight Timer app (free on ios and android) so I could surrender to God’s grace
- ate a huge breakfast, since I hadn’t had time at home (leftover steak + broccoli)
- chose to immediately create something (in fact, this article) instead of allowing my mind to be directed by the whims and woes of social media
And so, ten minutes later, I’m at my desk and feeling at least 50% calmer than I felt when I walked in.
I am fully responsible for my own feelings and behaviors, no matter what the circumstances are. Life throws me a curve ball daily. How do I react? That’s up to me.
Yes, it’s OK to feel bad. What’s the next step? Shake it off and self-soothe in a healthy way.
Wishing you the best possible day ever!