Today's lesson is in the form of a story.
Have you ever spent hours looking frantically for something you've lost? I have.
I spent hours scrambling to remember a forgotten combination for a lock that was securing my computer to an old desk that was to be replaced that day. I began to get frustrated because I needed to get things done and any delays were going to put me behind schedule. Plus some negative thinking had squeezed its way into my mind that went something like this:
If I can't remember this combination, then I won't be able to move the computer...
If I can't move the computer, I'm going to fall behind...
If I fall behind I won't be able to catch up...
If I can't catch up I might as well give up!
In seconds I had gone from trying to remember a combination to giving up. It seemed like so much depended on moving this computer that I suddenly found myself feeling quite stressed out indeed. Ironically, realizing that I was wound-up about not remembering a combination to a lock compounded my frustration even more, adding to my stress.
Have you ever gotten stuck?
What do you do when you get caught in a rut?
I checked the same combinations repeatedly. I even found a way to blame the lock and its mechanism for my troubles instead of my poor memory!
All of that time I spent on getting annoyed and angry meant that there was little time to simply stop and think (and breathe!). After much exasperation for far too long, I just stopped the search for the combination. The computer would have to stay put for now.
This shows just how important it is to stop and reflect.
I was spent, stressed, and still empty-handed. It seemed clear that I was so frustrated that I was bound to miss what was staring at me the whole time.
I decided to take a breather. So I closed my eyes and relaxed.
My mind went from a constant "What is that combination?! What is the combination?!", to a relaxed, reflective state. I slowed down. I breathed in. I breathed out. I let my mind wander.
Suddenly, the pressure was off. You know what happened?
The numbers 2, 4, 6 popped into my head.
Once I disconnected myself from the stressful situation, it allowed me to see things I was missing the entire time. The combination was absurdly simple, but my stressed state had prevented me from remembering it. Of course, it will forever remain ingrained in my head after that struggle!
(This story is an excerpt from Chapter 1: Stop Before You Go in the ACQYR Stress Busters - Master Program.)
When a stressful situation arises, stop and reflect.
It will help to clear your mind.
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