Faith

Three coping mechanisms for an trouble-filled day

Some days are just full of problems” aren’t they? Sometimes it’s big troubles and sometimes just annoyances. And sometimes it’s just a busy day and that alone causes us angst. I don’t know about you but I hate days when I have lots of errands to run and none of them fun.

Here’s my practical tips for any day when what is facing you is causing you anxiety.

First of all, step inside yourself for a moment. What are you really upset about? Is it the situation right in front of you or has your mind wandered off to past issues or future concerns? If you really stopped and analyzed your anxiety, is there a path to calmness you can find?

peace

Here’s a recent example from my own life.

I needed a tiny little replacement part for my mom’s hearing aid. Seriously, it would’ve have taken all of about three seconds to put it on but “everyone was busy” and “could I come back later?”

“No”, I replied somewhat shortly. Well, “Could I wait fifteen minutes”?

To which I promptly and tersely replied, “I don’t have fifteen minutes. I’ll leave them”. And I left in a little bit of a huff.

Now you might judge this situation and say, “Goodness, that was nothing to get upset about.” And you’d be right -as far you knew.

But here’s the backstory and this is where my mind immediately went.

This particular hearing-aid establishment had been calling me pretty insistently once they knew I was interested in buying my mom the top-of-the-line hearing aids. I mean they were so excited they even paid a visit to her house.

I felt they were quick to take her money but not nearly so quick to take care of a three-second fix.

(Of course I realize the clerk didn’t know that. It wasn’t her fault.)

 

On top of that, I had a number of errands to run that day, x-rays and blood work I’d been putting off for weeks because of my mom’s situation, and a number of other necessary errands. Had I taken just a moment to look inside I would’ve have realized that I was reacting to the stress of the last few weeks more than to this delay. That’s what I mean about going inside yourself to figure out what is really, upsetting you.

Secondly, choose to be as content and peaceful as you can in each moment. When I look back on the ordeal I went through with my mom for a few days (I haven’t shared the details with you because it is my mother after all, and I respect her privacy.), I am amazed at the peace I did feel. I felt God’s guidance every step of the way and am very happy with all the choices I made.

But the body can only handle so much before it requires us to step back and take care of ourselves. Pay attention to your body’s physical responses;  step back and find the peace you need. It may mean walking away from the situation and from everyone while you collect your thoughts. It may mean walking away inside when you can’t walk away outside. This last part is an art that needs to be learned. It doesn’t just happen.

walk-away

Third, take responsibility for your own well-being. You notice I didn’t say happiness. I think happiness, as an experience, is highly overrated. I think well-being more closely captures the kind of happiness God promises us. As long as we know our “being” is “well”, we can handle just about everything.

I hope this helps you when you have some of those days.

God bless and have a good day.