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
Love the work but not the job? Bad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? This ebook looks at what we can do to get more out of life at work. It helps you get moving again! Read Go For It! Sometimes It's Easier If You Run, filled with tips and techniques for putting zing into your work life. Order Now!
Your comments are welcomeWould you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenfPisQwhtshXzxJVvner@ChacUYLEiQVcXCoqJzufoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
About Point Lookout
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.
Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.
Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.
More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- When Stress Strikes
- Most of what we know about person-to-person communication applies when levels of stress are low. But
when stress is high, as it is in emergencies, we're more likely to make mistakes. Knowing those mistakes
in advance can be helpful in avoiding them.
- Coping and Hard Lessons
- Ever have the feeling of "Uh-oh, I've made this mistake before"? Some of these oft-repeated
mistakes happen not because of obstinacy, or stupidity, or foolishness, but because the learning required
to avoid them is just plain difficult. Here are some examples of hard lessons.
- The Focusing Illusion in Organizations
- The judgments we make at work, like the judgments we make elsewhere in life, are subject to human fallibility
in the form of cognitive biases. One of these is the Focusing Illusion. Here are some examples to watch for.
- The Reification Error and Performance Management
- Just as real concrete objects have attributes, so do abstract concepts, or constructs. But attempting
to measure the attributes of constructs as if they were the attributes of real objects is an example
of the reification error. In performance management, committing this error leads to unexpected and unwanted
- Disjoint Awareness: Systematics
- Organizations use some policies and processes that can cause people in collaborations to have inaccurate
understandings of what each other is doing. Performance management, politics, and resource allocation
processes can all contribute to disjoint awareness.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming July 8: Multi-Expert Consensus
- Some working groups consist of experts from many fields. When they must reach a decision by consensus, members have several options. Defining those options in advance can help the group reach a decision with all its relationships intact. Available here and by RSS on July 8.
- And on July 15: Disjoint Concept Vocabularies
- In disputes or in problem solving sessions, when we can't seem to come to agreement, we often attribute the difficulty to miscommunication, histories of disagreements, hidden agendas, or "personality clashes." Sometimes the cause is much simpler. Sometimes the concept vocabularies of the parties don't overlap. Available here and by RSS on July 15.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenfPisQwhtshXzxJVvner@ChacUYLEiQVcXCoqJzufoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.
Get the ebook!
Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:
- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, )
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, )
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, )
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, )
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, )
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, )
Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info
- 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.
- Bullet Points: Mastery or Madness?
Decision-makers in modern organizations commonly demand briefings in the form of bullet points or a series of series of bullet points. But this form of presentation has limited value for complex decisions. We need something more. We actually need to think. Briefers who combine the bullet-point format with a variety of persuasion techniques can mislead decision-makers, guiding them into making poor decisions. Read more about this program.