Keep Calm

It was years ago, and my sister and I were both rather young. She was too young for school yet, and I had recently started walking myself to and from school, because it was a short walking distance away. I had come home one afternoon, to see some of my toys scattered about the room that we shared. I got furious and yelled at my sister for a while, which made her cry. My mother came into the room, and said, "OK, now  that you've yelled and screamed, did it make anything better?"

It was her overall attitude towards life: if it's not going to help you, or anyone else, to lose your temper, it's best not to lose your temper. Same thing happens when I am with my angel husband (who is otherwise a level-headed, calm chap). He'll find himself getting flustered about something that's completely beyond our control, and I'll gently remind him, "Is it helping us get there faster by your getting flustered?" It takes him a minute or so to realise that he's losing his usual sense of calm, but once he does, he's able to step back, and (sometimes) even laugh about the situation.

I find myself asking the same question when my own temper starts to skyrocket (as it does). "Is it really going to help anything to get flustered, or angry, or screamy? No? Then what are you doing it for?" Most of the time, I can manage to reel myself in, and face the situation with a renewed confidence in myself. The few times that I do let loose, I use my friend Melissa's trick.

I look at my watch (or phone timer, as the case may be), and give myself exactly one minute to wallow in whatever negative feeling I'm in at that moment. Anger, rage, fear, grief, whatever. Once that minute is up, I let it back out into the universe, to disperse as it will. I'd sooner not hold onto it if I can help it.

When that's done, I find my inner peace returning, and my ability to do my job getting much better.
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