I catch myself saying this to other people when they are angry or just totally flipping: ‘calm down’. When somebody says that to me in a similar situation, there is no way Jose I’m calming down. So how can you really calm down and move on with life?
Your life is ruined
The bus is late, and now you’re gonna miss your train connection and you’re gonna miss you oh so super important appointment. Angry much? Let’s top it up. It is also raining, you forgot your umbrella so your hair that you just perfectly styled at home, is totally ruined. Oh and that bus that already was late? He just made a tsunami on you while he drove into a big puddle. So now you’re not only late for your appointment, you’re also looking like, well, shit.
It can always be worse
If this were to happen to me and somebody would say to calm down, I would probably lose it. I mean, can’t you see that I am feeling totally miserable and the whole day, no life, is completely ruined? Right! On the flip side (literally), you have to admit that there are always worse things that could’ve happened to you. And that in retrospect you could have reacted in a different way. Like looking for options on how you could have been on time by taking charge of your life and grabbing a taxi. In that way you would at least have been less wet as that bus wouldn’t have splashed you over ;).
Acknowledge that you are freaking out
The first step in dealing with your freaked out self is to acknowledge that you’re, well, freaking out. Usually there are 4 ways as to why you are freaking out. You can be angry, you can be anxious, you can be sad and you can avoid something. Maybe the term freaking out is not right when you’re anxious or avoiding something, but the thing is: your mind is freaking out. Thinking and overthinking up to the point where it’s boiling hot and you burn yourself. Chips!
Read ‘Calm the Fuck Down’ by Sarah Knight
So you’re angry, sad, anxious or avoiding something. What’s next? What helped me is to read the book ‘Calm the Fuck Down by Sarah Knight‘ (also available in a Dutch version). This book describes, in a very hilarious and down to earth way I must say, how you can deal with all those ‘fucks’ and let go of them to move on with your life. The author Sarah writes from her own perspective and experiences, which makes the whole book very relatable. I mean, I never unpurposely ran into a tarantula before (the only time I did when I was hunting for a tarantula home in the bush bush of a national park in Thailand. Yes I did that, and I must admit, I was freaking terrified, but also very amazed. It is not every day that I can say that I’ve seen a big, hairy tarantula crawling out of her cave hole.), but her humouristic reaction towards this and how she handled this, is so so relatable. And from who can you learn better than from someone who had a lot of trouble calming down herself? Right!
How I got better on moving on with my life
This book is full of examples, steps and tips about how you can calm down and take action instead of boiling yourself up even more and walk around with a ticking time bomb. One of the things that I’ve learned most is to just take action. Like I mentioned in the bus, being late and rained on example is that I used to be very cranky the whole day and let that influence my day for sure. Whereas now I think: okay this happened and yes it is shitty but what can I do now to make it a little bit better? What is my first step going to be?
What to do when you can control things
Because taking a step, whatever that may be, is always better than doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself. This is what you can control, this is where you have influence on the outcome. You don’t have influence on the bus being too late (unless you have a magic wand that magically will have the bus stop in front of you on time. But let’s be real. If you had that wand, you probably would have dressed up as Cinderella and used a pumpkin carriage to get you taxied to that appointment right on time).
What to do when you can’t control things
Another lesson I have learned from this book is to let go of that what I can’t control. And this is a process and I think an ongoing process because in life I always will be challenged in things that I can’t control. Which is hard as I’m a control freak first class. And to stay in the Disney terms: I can sing Let It Go as many times as I want, yet letting go is not one of my specialties. Singing is though ;). Some of the things that Sarah recommends is to laugh it away, trade it for something else, be an awesome Houdini and a funny, good one: plot a revenge. Hahaha. Love it!
My recommendations to Calm the Fuck Down
My recommendations though are the following:
- Read this book. It really helps
- Find your way of calming down. Mine is singing and dancing. I even hum when I wake up in the middle of the night.
- Take a break from your cluttered mind
- When you’re calmed down, think of options to take action on and you have control over.
- If you haven’t got control over the situation, sing Let It Go and move on. If it is a really big problem, I also allow you to watch the full movie of Frozen too.
- Read Calm the Fuck Down.