Have you ever been in a situation that you have no control over and worried so much that it started to make you feel physically bad? Stressed? Raised heart rate? other symptoms?
I am no doctor by any means, and what I am writing about is a mental solution. This is talking from experience.
In this post I am talking about situation that you have no control over at all.
First it is to realise that you cannot do anything to change the situation.
Second is to be in the present moment,
Third to learn from the experience for next time (sometimes there is no third)
Might sound woowoo to some of you. For those who know me, this is what goes on in my head. At least did go on in my head as now it has become a reflex/habit/automatic response, call it what you like it.
FIRST – Situations where you do not control anything:
-stuck in a traffic jam
-stuck in a areal traffic jam, with and long haul connection (very recently, and not so recently too)
-an delay of some sort
-something not going your way for a reason not related to you
These situations are not planned and most case unforeseen. You do not have any control over it because no matter what you do you cannot change the outside situation.
In your mind, you have the control to change your mindset. It is you who chooses how you react to things, not anyone else, nor anything else. You can choose to worry or let it go.
When you have the choice why would you want to make yourself feel bad when you can, make yourself feel ok?
SECOND – be in the present moment.
Yes something is happening that has not been planned and it might have repercussions after. Life goes on. What can you do in that moment instead of worrying? talk to someone near, read, listen, learn, write, work, edit, create, design, imagine, plan, draw, and the list goes on.
You are in that moment and you cannot do anything about the situation. You have some time. Use that time doing something you enjoy. Like this the time will not be wasted and you will have done something extra that was not planned and feels good.
Recently I flew home with a stop over. One three hours flight and one nine hours flight. I had two hours and fifty minutes layover. A good amount I think.
My first flight was delayed by one hours before take off. So I took out my laptop and worked on a project. Plus my laptop got a charge. Bonus, I advance my project and I had a fully charged laptop for my future flights to continue working on.
Arriving at the layover destination due to areal traffic jam we flew around the airport for an extra one hour and twenty minutes. There was a passenger over the aisle that was stress about missing his connection and started being slightly agitated, as most of the plan was. So I started talking to him, asking him where he was going, what was his plans, and why. It stopped him thinking about missing his connection (my flight was ten minutes before his but that did not matter). And he stopped momentarily worrying about the future and spent time in the present.
The journey was all good and I arrived home.
Another time that was a unexpected change and I ended up loving it. To this day I still feel like it is a dream.
On a connection flight in the United State to Hong Kong we missed our connection flight to Hong Kong. My boyfriend panicked a bit as he was not going to be there for work and someone needed to be in the office. Stuck in the U.S. and not being able to do anything about that, he arrange with a colleague to be there the next day in the hong Kong to cover for him.
And we were stuck in a layover in New York!!! the exclamation points are because I had never been and this unexpected 24hrs in New York was AWESOME. So far the trip had been great already. That was just the cherry on the top.
Sometimes missing flights is great, sometimes less and I have had those too and I still made it work.
THIRD – Learn
So you have been through the experience once, twice, maybe even more.
What can you do should it happen another time. I am not going to try to find something to avoid it, because life is unpredictable and that is a good thing. I think. Things happen and it makes it interesting.
You are stuck in a traffic jam, is there an app you can use to see where there are blockage? Can you change the hours when you normally go?
If not, can you use that extra time to do something else? Like listen to an audio book in the car, take voice note.
Not driving? read, write, other?
Going somewhere and you know you are going to queue take something to keep you busy. Will you be warm enough?
Is situation where you have no control to change anything:
1- Do no worry
2- Enjoy the moment you have
3- Can you learn from it and make the next unpredictable moment better?
I would like to hear you stories that you have had in uncontrollable situations and what you did? Please share your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
I will reply to all emails sent my way.
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