So I’m sitting at home, waiting for a potentially very difficult call…I should add, I’m recovering from an operation at the moment and really only capable of doing a small amount each day. The clock ticks by (the call is now 33 mins late and counting) and I find myself struggling to suppress those chronic anxiety demons, that feeling in the pit of your stomach…heart pounding…chewing my lip…and above all catastrophizing the absolute worst-case outcome of the phone call.
Time for some mindfulness to get this back under control. This is something I’ve been working on for a few months, and it is probably the single biggest and best change I’ve ever made. I confess, before I tried it, I assumed it was probably some “hippy mumbo-jumbo” and who has time for meditation anyway. Wrong! All it involves is taking a couple of minutes (or more, or less) to focus on the immediate present. What are you doing right now? Whatever it is, chances are you could try doing it “mindfully”. For example, 10 minutes before the scheduled time for the dreaded phone call, I came upstairs and put some make-up on (yes, make-up will make the tough call easier). Whilst I was doing it, I took some deep breaths and focussed solely on evenly and gently applying my BB cream, slowly and purposefully using my eyelash curler…etc. After just 2 minutes I felt calm and more ready to face the call. It is honestly so easy, if only I’d known about it years ago! You can try it in lots of different situations – It’s great to do whilst watering plants or doing housework for example. If you don’t have any make-up, dirty dishes or houseplants to hand, and all you have is a smartphone, here are my top 3 quick online stress busters (just remember to try and focus solely on each one, and try not to multi-task!).
1. Zen Habits. If you’re feeling stressed this website by Leo Babuata will help you. If you’re short of time, go immediately to this page (and then please come back and finish reading my post!). If you have a little more time, go to the archives page and browse a few articles (they each take about 30 seconds-2 minutes to read). Then bask in the glow of calmness you’ve achieved and award yourself some awesomeness points!
2. Find one of the millions of “Inspirational Quotes” we’re bombarded with online that actually, really and truly means something to you, resonates with you and is relevant to the stressful situation you’re currently facing. Then look at it. a lot. Here’s one I found whilst waiting for the phone call (now 1hr 25 mins late):
3. Watch the Adam and Joe Star Trek song. Forget anything you were worrying about for 1 minute and 15 seconds.