How to Keep Your Calm When Everything Goes Wrong
So life rained on your parade... What now?
We have all been there. While sitting at your gate amongst the rows upon rows of uncomfortable seats, you receive a notification through the airline’s app or a semi-friendly voice announces a passenger’s most dreaded message. Your flight is delayed due to a weather/mechanical issue or they found a colonial woman on the wing (name that movie in the comments for ultimate brownie points). Your stomach sinks and you can feel the frustration build around you so you say little prayer to the travel gods that your flight won’t get delayed any further. On my last trip, I had already boarded my 5:15 am flight to Portland, OR, to attend a conference, when the pilot made an announcement about a problem with the radio. This “quick fix” turned into a cancelled flight, missing my connection, being rebooked on another flight that left from another airport, and several hours to kill sitting in one of those uncomfortable airport chairs. It was a really, really long day and it sucked.
As I was stuck in the new airport for the next 6 hours, I realized something that made this annoying situation a little better. I had a choice. I had the ability to change my perception of my current predicament because when in an uncontrollable situation you have the power to control just one thing: your reaction. By realizing that I had some control in an unseemingly uncontrollable situation, made it easier for me to accept my situation and feel less like it was completely out of my hands. I could have easily pitched a fit and focused my frustration on the people around me or at the universe for making my trip last a whole day instead of arriving in the early morning. My frustrations would only have create more negativity and my day would have gotten even worse. Instead I mentally pictured the annoying and aggravating emotions roll off my back and “just [kept] swimming” (Dory from Finding Nemo is a very smart fish).
By deciding to go with the flow of a difficult situation, you’re able to release the tension and experience the present with less negativity. I know that it's incredibly hard to keep up a smile when life smacks you in the face but if there is a small chance that I can make myself feel better in a stupidly annoying situation, I’m trying it.
So, close your eyes and breath as you imagine yourself taking a step away from the situation, feeling your frustrations around you, and allowing them to leave your body through your breath. Look at the larger picture and realize that your ease and positivity is beneficial to release your mind from stress and that you are in control of your emotions. If you have the power to make a horrible situation just a bit better, why not try? So be like Dory and swim with the current instead of against the flow. It will make a sucky situation just a bit more tolerable.
I would love to hear about your travel stories and how you've handled them in the comments below!
Happy Wednesday friends!