I've heard that problems come in threes, and I recently had my three. First I was all ready to copy an important paper, but my printer was out of ink. Okay. Get more ink. But I forgot how to insert a new ink cartridge. So I got out the manual, studied, and did it right.
Then for a long time my land phone had been giving me less and less time to talk before it beeped and went dead. Finally, it just died. I know nothing about mechanical stuff, so I read the manual. Phones need new batteries. Duh! Didn't know that. So I got a new battery and solved the problem.
Then my A/C was acting up. Now that was really out of my league. I didn't want to call a repair person, so I asked around for help. Finally called a repair person, and got the problem solved.
By now I was sick of problems and the stress that goes with solving them. I knew what to do with stress, how to manage it, or even eliminate it, but that's hard to do when you're in the midst of a crisis. Yes, I know those were not big crises, but don't they seem like giants when you're confronted with them? I envy those people who can stay cool even when vultures are descending to eat their young. We could take a lesson from them. The people, not the vultures.
So now I'm retrieving my Mental Stress Manual to remind me what to do with stress the next time it shows up. I've been through some biggies in my life. Handled some well, some not so well, and it pays to be prepared.
So here's what my Mental Stress Manual says to handle stress in any situation. You have to catch the stress before it gets full blown, because full blown is too late. Just before you feel the stress, you'll feel a very subtle knot in the pit of your belly. On the inside, that can come from something you're thinking about. On the outside it can come from another person and/or situation. And it depends upon how you're responding. But when you feel that knot, get busy with your obliteration technique. And of course you already know that a few deep breaths should always preclude the action.
1. Identify the beginning of stress (the knot) and talk to it. "Hello. I know you well, and I want you to know that I'm not at all afraid of you. I decree that no matter what you do, you have no power over me. You're no more than a fly on a horse's rump. And I'm the horse. I have the power to handle any situation in a calm, peaceful way, which I intend to do. So you might as well leave now."
2. Whether the situation is internal or external, picture an image of something that represents peace to you. ie A dove, a white aura, an angel, balloons floating in the air, a beautiful sunrise, whatever has meaning for you. And associate with that peaceful feeling as the stress loses its power, or better yet, doesn't even materialize.
3. Express gratitude. No matter what the result, express gratitude.
The more you do this, the more effective it becomes. And if you forget, like I did, retrieve your Mental Stress Manual and start over. Life has lots of starting-over times, but we're stronger with each one.
I wish you peaceful encounters in your life.