Someone has done something wrong, unfair, vicious, or malicious, and you feel angry or really hurt. Now it's all you can think about. You can't concentrate. Maybe your heart is pounding, or your hands are shaking. You might even have had some tears, or you found yourself angrily rehearsing retorts under your breath (or louder) in private.
You know you have to respond, but you need to think first, to avoid doing something stupid. But thinking requires a clear mind. Here are some tips for getting back to a state of calm. Pick some that appeal to you.
- Get some exercise
- Get your blood flowing, and some oxygen in your bloodstream, especially if adrenaline is involved. Or just breathe. That will get the job done, though it might be hard to sit still.
- Get support
- Everything is easier with support. A therapist, a counselor, a spouse, a friend, or more than one. We're all different — you might find this easy or difficult. You might want to seek it right away, or maybe wait a bit. But almost everyone finds support helpful.
- Food isn't the answer
- Everything is easier with support.
You might not want to seek it
right away, but almost everyone
finds support helpful.Eating can create demand for blood, as your digestive system goes to work. And right now, you need to focus your resources on other things. Eating is essential for life, of course, but it isn't a solution.
- Drugs don't help either
- You need your head clear. Exception: if you're unable to sleep or your anxiety is extreme, consult a physician. Don't self-medicate with over-the-counter pills. They might be the right thing for you, but always check with your doctor first.
- Focus on love
- Think of something or someone you love, remembering to include yourself in the list of candidates. At first this might be difficult, but in a short time, it will get easier. After all, this is what it's all about.
- Practice recovering your focus
- As you're thinking of what you love, the initial injury might pop back into your mind. When it does, acknowledge it, and notice it has returned, and return to thinking about someone or something you love.
- Recognize the true source of the trouble now
- While the trouble might have started with someone else's action, recognize that right now, you're the one responsible for the endless replays of the pain, and you can stop that. You're doing it and you can choose to do something else if you want to.
Over a few days, you'll probably find that the intervals between recollections of the injury increase. This is progress. It's your healing process at work. Acknowledge that and appreciate yourself for your ability to heal. Top Next Issue
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- The Mind Reading Trap
- When we think, "Paul doesn't trust me," we could be fooling ourselves into believing that
we can read his mind. Unless he has directly expressed his distrust, we're just guessing, and we can
reach whatever conclusion we wish, unconstrained by reality. In project management, as anywhere else,
that's a recipe for trouble.
- Keep a Not-To-Do List
- Unless you execute all your action items immediately, they probably end up on your To-Do list. Since
they're a source of stress, you'll feel better if you can find a way to avoid acquiring them. Having
a Not-To-Do list reminds you that some things are really not your problem.
- The True Costs of Indirectness
- Indirect communications are veiled, ambiguous, excessively diplomatic, or conveyed to people other than
the actual target. We often use indirectness to avoid confrontation or to avoid dealing with conflict.
It can be an expensive practice.
- Office Automation
- Desktop computers, laptop computers, and tablets have automation capabilities that can transform our
lives, but few of us use them. Why not? What can we do about that?
- Still More Things I've Learned Along the Way
- When I have an important insight, or when I'm taught a lesson, I write it down. Here's another batch
from my personal collection.
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- And on August 1: Strategies of Verbal Abusers
- Verbal abuse at work has special properties, because it takes place in an environment in which verbal abuse is supposedly proscribed. Yet verbal abuse does happen at work. Here are three strategies abusers rely on to avoid disciplinary action. Available here and by RSS on August 1.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.