It happens to everyone, when things go wrong they seem to go wrong all at once and it becomes too much for many and you start to fall apart.
When things aren’t going you way you often have to make quick decisions of how you are going to handle the situation and how you are going to compose yourself.
Whilst many of the problems I have faced in my life have been quiet easy to manage sometimes I wonder if someone in my shoes would handle it the same way.
There was an incident recently that just compounded so many little things it started to break me down. I had just boarded my flight to America and we were ready to go, everything was great we got on the plane 20 minutes late but give or take 30 minutes at an airport and you’re doing well.
Anyway we are on the tarmac and getting ready to take when a girl about 10 or so rows back from my just starts throwing up all over the plane. The airline staff makes the decision to turn back the plane. The plane makes it back to the terminal they refuel, the paramedics board the plane to and wheel the sick passenger out in a wheel chair and 2.5 hours later we are ready to take off. There is only one problem. I had a 3 hour window to board my connecting flight to Chicago. It made my trip longer than it already was, I was playing out all the scenarios in my head of whether I would make the flight or not, what I would do if I didn’t what I needed to reorganise if I missed my flight.
Usually I sleep for 4-5 hours on the plane to America but I didn’t get a wink of sleep on that flight and when I did arrive in America I ran through the terminal got through customs, collected my bags and shot off to the connecting flight only to get there in a sweaty mess to be told the flight hadn’t left but they can no longer take luggage. I had missed the cut off by 15 minutes. What surprised me next was they were willing to move me onto the next flight for free. Thank you Virgin America! That was the silver lining of what was a very long day. I had to wait 8 hours in LAX airport for the next flight and during that time a child set of a security alarm that was ringing in my ears for a long 10 minutes. It felt like not much was going right
When I finally arrived at the airport in Chicago at 12am local time I needed to call the hostel to come and pick me up on their free shuttle service. At this time I had been awake for 36 hours straight and I was starting to feel very dizzy and disorientated, I just needed to sleep. The payphone at the airport swallowed my money 3 times and out of pure frustration I walked out of the airport to the closest cab and asked them to take me to where I was staying. I got to where I was staying, fell asleep almost instantly and never looked back.
What did I take out of this experience when it just felt like everything was going wrong?
1. Just Stop, And Take A Deep Breath
I can’t stress this enough, when everything feels like it is going wrong just take a step back and take a deep breath in. You know at some point you will look back at the situation you are in and think to yourself, what was I even worrying about! After that one breath the situation will not have changed at all, but your mental awareness that it is only temporary should kick in.
2. Consider All The Possibilities And Make Plans For The Absolute Worst Case Scenario
As soon as you find out any bad news, that is when the problem solving should begin. Never rely on other people to solve your problems for you. Strangely enough this is the process I like most about when everything goes wrong. I am very quick to think of alternatives and solutions to the problems and I can assess my options and the pros and cons very quickly. I think these are common traits of people who are often referred to as being “laid back”
3. Use Your Support Networks
If you are having a tough time or you have just exhausted every avenue sometimes the best thing to do is to just call a friend or family member and vent your frustrations. Share the load a little and let your support networks reassure you that everything will be ok. Just knowing that someone else knows what you are going through can be a huge burden off your shoulders
4. Don’t Panic
Absolutely don’t panic! Getting irrational and panicking never solves anything! In fact it adds more tension to the situation and if there are other people around you it often forces them to act irrationally as well. Keep your composure and take that deep breath in again.
5. Don’t Make Any Rash Decisions
Rash decisions that have not been through the due diligence of a through thought process are often decisions based on panic and unease. Get as many facts as you can before making a decision on anything but when the time comes to act quickly be ready. Knowledge is power in this scenario.
6. Use Your Anger For Something Productive
Anger is often an emotional outlet for people who feel everything is going wrong. I am definitely not one of these people but I have witnessed it firsthand. What you need to remember is the person you are yelling at is 99% of the time not responsible for your problem that you are facing. Save yourself the energy of venting at someone who doesn’t deserve it and save that energy for what is often a long day when nothing is going right. Release your frustration in a healthier way
7. Go For A Walk To Clear Your Head
This leads me into my final point which goes along with using your frustrations in a positive way. Take some time out and go for a walk. If nothing else walking released the body’s natural feed good endorphins and it also gives you time to clear your head and think in a more decisive manner. Physical activity is one of the best ways to just escape for a while until you can work things out.
What strategies do you use to keep a cool head? Let me know in the comments below.