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Month: June 2014

on perspective

This post was originally featured on my blog What the Health Now? before being transferred over to Three Times Per Day.

 

There comes a time, or more likely many times, when one is faced with circumstances that try his or her patience or anger management abilities. If you’re like me (i.e. you have a lot of emotions and/or character flaws, depending on who is talking), these events occur on a rather regular basis.

Throughout my childhood, I was a bully’s wet dream. I reacted to anything and everything, and vehemently. My intense reactions to stressors were nothing less than self-destructive. As a college student, I realized the error of my ways.

*FLASHBACK*

When I was in middle school, my local public library had a used book sale every afternoon. (Actually, they probably still do but that is irrelevant because this story is set in circa 2004) Quite often, I would stop by on a regular basis and impulse buy as many $1 to $2 books as I had money for.

One such book was called The Art of Keeping Cool.

No, it wasn’t a self-help book. It was some little-known fiction novel. And I actually never read it so this piece is not going to be on what I learned from this book. What it is going to be about is this: The Art of Keeping Cool.

From my 20 years of experience being part firecracker, part Energizer bunny, the most valuable lesson I have learned is The Art of Keeping Cool. I only became a novice in this art in the last, say, 6 months. But this skill, and some medication (kidding), have been correlated to an immense increase in my own personal happiness and in that of my amazingly tolerant friends, who no longer have to spend hours reassuring me that so-and-so was completely out of line or that X is probably not mad at me because I said I was going to that social gathering and then I didn’t go.

I call it, practicing perspective (patent pending).

“Da fuq,” you say, as you wonder why you’re taking advice from a neurotic twenty year old’s amateur blog.

But, seriously, it works.

Practicing perspective means when you start getting riled up–frustrated, annoyed, angry, embarrassed, disappointed, guilty, etc., etc., etc., you stop and think “Will I care about this in a week? Month? Year?”

If the answer is “no” to any of those time periods than it’s just not worth stressing over. Practicing perspective means keeping your eye on the big picture and adjusting where your emotional priorities lie accordingly.

It’s a simple method that works wonders. I imagine cardiologists and therapists all over the world would see a massive decrease in business if everyone would follow this method.

So just to recap:

In the event of a stressful situation…

1.) Take a deep breath

2.) Think “Will this matter in…”

          a) 1 week

          b) 1 month

          c) 1 year

If no–exhale–and move on. Don’t spend any further time worrying your pretty (or handsome) little head on it. You time can be better spent on worrying about all the things you answered “yes” to for a) b) or c). 

Now get off this blog and go enjoy your life!

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