Have you ever been cut off by someone while driving or know someone that has certain opinions about certain types of people? You know what and who I’m talking about. Some of us experience something like this everyday. I try my hardest not to let those things get to me.
I’ve learned to stop worrying too much about things that I can’t control. For example, I can control my car, but not the cars around me. As a result, I try to be extra alert, so when (and it will happen) that driver that’s weaving in and out of traffic cuts me off, I am able to adjust accordingly and say a little ‘Thank you God for keeping me safe’.
But, do you ever think of the driver of that car? Or the person at your kids’ dance competition who gives you an attitude because they can’t see (yeah, I recently dealt with this)? Or the person in your office that has a permanent scowl on their face, or anyone else you can think of for that matter, and wonder why they’re like that?
Part of the wondering is what keeps me from going off the deep end. I just imagine that person has a back story that includes a chain of events that led them on this path and that’s what makes them the person I see before me today. Maybe that’s the type of behavior they saw while growing up, or they tried to do the ‘right thing’ at some point and it backfired, or maybe they just think their way is always right for whatever reason and don’t necessarily care about the consequences.
I was a psychology major in college and I have always been fascinated with the way people think and behave (I guess I should have pursued a career in psychology, huh?).
But, sometimes people just have a story of their own. Someone is always fighting a tougher battle than you. So, worrying sometimes can be pointless.
There are many ways that you can keep calm in personal situations, here are 5, but try to think of more:
1. Know that everything happens for a reason
This one can be a bit harsh to swallow and accept, especially in the wake of a tragedy. I’ve had my share of rough times, but later on a light bulb would go off in my head and I would think duh, you wouldn’t be right here in this moment if you hadn’t gone through the rough patches. Even when you think it’s the end of the world, one day the smoke will clear, the light will shine, and you will finally have won your battle.
2. Kill ’em with kindness
This is waaaay easier said than done, but I’ve noticed when I have been the ‘nice guy’ in the midst of a bad situation it tends to die down a little quicker. I do admit I’ve also been on the other side where I’ve been upset or angry for my own reasons. I may have gone this way into a store, for example, but if the store associate is smiling and nice my bad mood soon melts away and before I know it I forget why I was upset or angry in the first place (or at least I’m not as upset or angry).
3. Think of a story and apply it to the other person
Both sad and funny stories can work here. Sad stories make you feel so bad for the other person you pretend like their behavior is excusable. With funny stories, sometimes in the process you end up making yourself laugh so much that you cool off some by the time you get to the end of your story. Both types of stories help you move on with your life and stop focusing on what just happened.
4. Put some sneakers on and go
Put some comfortable sneakers on and hit the gym, the sidewalk, the park, the track, etc. Exercise out your emotions. Find a punching bag, go to gym and run around the track or on a treadmill, lift some weights, do something physical to help you expend your pent up angry energy. You’ll be surprised how great you feel afterwards.
5. Have a hobby
Having a hobby will help you have something to look forward to. I can’t tell you how many people I speak to at work and they all have personal interests outside of their jobs. It helps keep you sane, motivated, and gives you a positive outlet to express yourself so that you don’t do it in the wrong way.