It may come as a surprise, but even seasoned stress gurus experience days when things don’t go according to plan. I have been there and what has typically saved me from a complete meltdown is my trusty personal stress mantra.
Case in point, here’s a slice of my life where three simple words (and a pair of golf pants!) relieved my stress.
Let me set the scene:
It’s early morning in Calgary. I am professionally dressed, pumped to do a great presentation. I didn’t want to stress about being late so I gave myself an extra 15 minutes in case traffic was bad. Well, traffic wasn’t bad…it was horrendous!! So much for not feeling stressed during my commute.
I pulled up to the building where I was to do my presentation at the exact time that I was supposed to start! I still needed to find a place to park, it was pouring rain, and I realized I didn’t have an umbrella. With my stress level increasing by the minute, my mantra kicked in.
(Lana, think CALM, BLUE OCEAN!)
Yay! I found a place to park but the parking meter was working in turtle mode! Finally, a ticket was dispensed! Now, how could I protect myself from the rain?
(Lana, keep thinking CALM, BLUE OCEAN!)
I then noticed my husband’s golf rain pants laying on the back seat. Not exactly a fashion statement, but, hey, they are rain proof! I quickly threw them over my shoulders and tied the pant legs under my chin. I was also thankfully wearing a scarf around my neck so that became my rain hat as I ran for two blocks with computer bag in hand. I kept on running up to the building door, into the elevator and then into a room full of waiting people. “Excuse me,” I said, “while I take off my husband’s golf pants!!”
In this situation, without the benefit of my personal mantra, I would not have had the presence of mind to come up with a makeshift umbrella and subsequently use it as a way to add some levity to my entrance. 'Calm, blue ocean' helped me roll with the traffic and weather punches!
Why 'calm, blue ocean'? It’s the mantra I have used for many years to calm my Wheaton Terrier, Kayleigh. I realized this statement could also be a queue for MY mind to create calm and keep the stress response at bay.
We all have moments that can be extremely stressful but the kicker is how we react to those moments. I gotta tell you, it wasn’t easy keeping my stress under control that morning. My personal mantra was an absolute lifesaver and kept me from losing my cool so I could begin my presentation in a calm, organized, professional manner – of course, AFTER the laughter over my rain gear attire had subsided!
What’s your mantra?
Check out these online articles for a little mantra inspiration:
For another tried and true stress management technique, check out my ‘Triple A’ formula (Awareness/Analysis/Action) that will fortify your thinking and get you on the right path to reduce stress and anxiety in your life.