Have you laughed at yourself today? If you haven’t, you’re being too darn serious! That’s right, I said it! The last and final Organic Truth that I hold closest to my heart and that I think is the BEST of the three, is:
Organic Truth #3: Loosen Up On Life
Just the other day, as I was walking into an elevator full of my colleagues, Attending, and fellow staff, I literally got smashed in the side of the face by the closing elevator door. Everyone around me let out an audible; “Oooooow! Are you okay? That sounded like it hurt.”
Rather than be mortified that I was mentally spaced out and had just been sandwiched by a predictably closing door, I shook my head and laughed about it;
Now… I know, I know. Life is not so simple.
Life can be more stressful than the occasional smack in the face by a piece of operational equipment.
It doesn’t necessary take much.
Sometimes this instances aren’t “big,” but they quickly become so in our minds when we fixate all of our attention on them. Ie:
- Getting cut off on the highway
- Someone stepping in front of you in line, and you know it was intentional
- Being taken advantage of by a colleague or acquaintance
- Getting snapped at you or criticized you out of nowhere
We can sometimes get so fixated on things like this that it can be all-consuming.
The danger is getting trapped in these moments with the button on Replay in our minds.
We go through every. single. detail.
We beat ourselves up and extrapolate all sorts of things about how others “now think of us.”
This is where I recommend taking a “T.”
I encourage you to pause and ask yourself these two specific questions:
- In 2 weeks time, will this still be an issue?
- How big of a deal is this really?
What’s in the past is gone, and the future is not yet here. So, how can I be present and happy in this moment?
To break the mental meltdown cycle, imagery can be a great exercise.
Take a moment to close your eyes and stay still in a quiet place. Imagine your concern as a dark gray rain cloud hovering directly over your head. Label this cloud with your current fear / anxiety/ source of stress.
Now, allow this cloud to slowly drift ahead and slowly dissipate into the sky above you. Imagine it being replaced by rays of sunlight and blue skies.
Hold onto this imagery as long as you can to savor the sunlight on your face, the sound of nature in the distance, and feel the weight of your concern drifting onward.
If imagery isn’t your thing, perhaps you may relate to this instead:
Have you ever gotten yourself so worked up over something and you were so upset, so anxious, so frustrated… that you shared it with someone else who’s reaction was simply;
Oh. That’s a bummer. So what else is new with you?
Talk about complete deflation!
But how powerful!
It’s like your own startling version of getting smacked in the face by a closing elevator door…
Regardless of how stressful something may seem, or how worked-up you may feel, check-in with how serious you’re CHOOSING to take your life.
- Is this situation going to breeze by in a few weeks time?
- If so, remind yourself that this isn’t so serious
- Life isn’t so serious
- We, individually, shouldn’t take ourselves so seriously (!)
The less energy we fuel our anxiety / stress/ fear, the less power it has over us.
Downplay the moment as best as you can. Sometimes the act of physically throwing up your hands, relaxing your shoulders, and just saying outloud; “whelp! It is what it is!” is enough to deescalate the situation. Even just telling yourself; “I goofed up. No biggie. Life goes on!” can help.
You may have to repeat this /these exercises many times over so that the next time you find yourself getting sandwiched into a doorframe by a slowly closing elevator, you have the confidence to laugh it off and move on with your life.