Too often do I see people complaining, whining over small inconveniences. They get so angry over things which are not even worthy of so much mental energy. A friend of mine once spoke a term that so wonderfully applies to how one should conduct themselves in these situations. It goes like this: People who overreact to inconveniences are not applying the “appropriate level of concern.” Admittedly, I myself find myself in situations where I feel a bit of anxiety, even rage sometimes when encountering an unexpected obstacle in the flow of my day; more specifically when there is something slowing me down (it’s the NY in me).
The problem with this anxiety, this rage, is that it does more harm than good. For starters, the feeling is not going to improve the situation …….. at all. It’s counterproductive toward getting through whatever obstacle we have encountered. In fact, the very emotion itself clouds our mind from finding any potential realistic solutions. Second, that negative energy can make the obstacle worse. That’s right. All that negative energy spills over onto the people closest to us. Even if we are not outwardly expressing our feelings. It’s written all over our faces and body language, and everyone is picking up on it; even if they don’t realize they are. This in turn, effects their attitude toward us. Third (and most important), most of the time, the anger or anxiety we feel is more of a drain on our day/life than the obstacle itself. Here are some examples of times when many of us get our anxiety levels up over small inconveniences:
- Traffic jam on the highway.
- In a long checkout line at the grocery store (traffic of a different variety).
- Jerks on the road.
- Just missed the deadline for something and they didn’t give it to you anyway.
- Just MADE the deadline for something and they didn’t give it to you (they are on a different clock).
- Car gets a flat.
- Check engine light comes on.
- Accidental spills.
- Any alteration in plans we did not account for.
Unless these time stalling inconveniences (traffic jam, grocery store) are keeping us from real time sensitive events (like open heart surgery), there is no rush.
Most of the situations mentioned above are situations we can’t control. So right off the bat, there really is no logical reason to get overly angry. Anger can only be useful when it motivates us to take action toward overcoming an obstacle; but there is nothing we can do in a traffic jam.
So lets do what we gotta do to calm ourselves, and not go crazy (internally or externally) over minor inconveniences, minor distractions. Count to ten, meditate, breathing exercises, soothing music, Yoga, or whatever. Don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill situation, accept the obstacle for what it is, and proceed calmly. We will get through this feeling much better.