I dropped my son off at school and headed to an offsite meeting.
As I pulled out of the school parking lot, I tried to merge into a turn lane. The driver there wouldn’t let me in. A minute later, my phone GPS app crashed. I threw my hands in the air.
“Oh my God, I can’t catch a break! Com’on, why are you testing me so much this morning?”
My tension was building with every mile.
I stopped at a red light. Because my car was stopped, the music seemed very loud.
It irritated me. I felt like hitting my radio.
I turned it off, took a deep breath, and looked around. Seeking something, anything, to appreciate about the traffic. The variety of cars to look at. From red to yellow and big to small. Why did the designer pick the curve to be like that?
I could feel my stomach muscles release.
The red light had forced me to pause, encouraging me to notice my tension.
My blood was boiling because some stressed-out commuter wouldn’t allow me into the turn lane. I could let this reaction continue, or I could use this moment in my anger to release my tension.
I appreciated these feelings of tension. They showed me that I was overreacting. This pause helped me slow down and relax just a bit. Just enough to exhale and take a breath in. I could feel my jaw was tight. I released my tense muscles. I then took a moment to appreciate my awareness.
I exhaled again and breathed in this calmer me.
I repeated those five words.
When I stopped grasping for a better situation, I was able to enjoy my current situation again, which made it better.