Someone went in the basement of a government office in England a couple of years ago and found themselves a gold mine by unearthing a WWII slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. With my tagline on my old blog being Reasonable Expectations, which is along the same vein, you probably believe that I find the phrase has plenty of merit. And I do believe in the sentiment. (I almost bought a plaque myself when I first saw one in a catalog because it is a pithy and practical mantra.)
But ever since I was told the first time as a child in a tizzy about some long forgotten irritation to ‘calm down’ I have thought that is the most useless phrase in the English language. In the history of the world the number of people who have actually calmed down just based on being told to do so might be legitimately calculated at one. In my experience, both personal and observed, it is more likely to be equated to waving a red flag in front of a bull.
But, since chronologically we are all adults, we do need to temper our tempers. We are civilized after all, aren’t we? Therefore we must find a means within ourselves to defuse any mounting irritation, frustration, anger, or rage before it gets the better of us. Before we get into full tantrum mode. And there is plenty to be frustrated about – businesses seem to create rules for the specific purpose of frustrating their customers. Or, knowing a particular time of day is a high volume time there will only be 2 cashiers with a long row of empty checkout stations and a longer row of people who have somewhere else to be.
Anyway, back to defusing frustration. Reminding myself to breathe is a good mantra – have you ever noticed that your breath is shallow and rapid which makes your pulse get shallow and rapid? And your shoulders head north toward your ears? I can’t make the store bring out some more cashiers, but I can make myself breathe more deeply and shake out my shoulders until they are back where they belong. And try not to listen while the man behind me tells the woman he is with to calm down.
© 2014 BAReed Writing | Practical Business, All rights reserved