An Ocean of Serenity

Have you ever had the experience of getting gradually more fed up, and then eventually overreacting at the wrong time, with the wrong person?

As a pretty placid person this is something I really need to watch, and as you may imagine, when I have let the wrong person have all the angst and fury created by 2 dozen other people and situations, I’ve felt really bad about myself for several days. It takes quite a while to recover from overreaction.

The Tether

The trouble is, if you try to be a kind and decent person, you often stay quiet when you should nip something in the bud immediately it starts. You confuse yourself with ‘they didn’t mean it’, ‘didn’t mean it that way’, ‘it came across wrong’, and every other excuse you can possibly make for anyone else but yourself. Because of course, a decent person can’t forgive themselves for unkindness however mild.

A counsellor once told me that anyone who has a mental breakdown, acute anxiety, or finally snaps, has been too strong for too long with too many people in too many situations.

The Point

Is to become more aware of yourself and how you’re feeling, and teach yourself to react immediately. If you do so life is much easier. “I’m going to dismember you and scatter your parts to the four winds!” becomes “Hold on, what did you mean by that? Did I understand you correctly?” Immediacy is excellent for stress levels, and will leave your sense of who you are and who you want to be intact, whereas overreaction will dismember it and scatter your mind to the four winds.

The Joke

Many years ago I had a mate who used to describe himself as being an ocean of serenity, on his most irritated days. He asked me how I was once and I replied “I’m an OOFS”. It stood for ocean of f***ing serenity. He went into meltdown on the end of the phone, and from that moment on we would share OOFS alerts by text.

This might sound very silly, and not as funny in repetition as it was in person, and yet that silly joke stopped both of us overreacting on any number of occasions. So…

The Saving Grace

When you have managed to let people push you too far, and you realise that you’re about to start lopping off heads and are in danger of becoming thoroughly ashamed of yourself, don’t ever forget that saving grace that is humour.

Distract yourself by trying to create a joke or making up your own funny side to the situation. Your mental health will thank you and you will remain in a state of grace.

Overreacting, losing your temper, screaming (at the wrong person), it’s just not worth the energy. You now have 3 steps.

  1. React immediately
  2. If that fails find the humour
  3. Chocolate, coffee, cake, or all three. Distract yourself by getting a treat and enjoying it. Then come back and deal with it.

To your happiness, mental health, and in the avoidance of self-loathing

Deb xx


Published by debdancingstarhawken7

I'm a writer, public speaker, medium, and spiritual thinker. I suffered from acute anxiety from the age of 16 until I was well into my 50s, after fearlessly exploring many ideas, philosophies, and tools, I finally found methods that helped me return my mind to a better normal. One of the things I hated about anxiety was the way people treated me like a fool or a problem, I have two degrees and I'm a (much) retired black belt, my IQ is decent, but I constantly felt like a complete idiot, something that was exacerbated by never feeling like the real me. The girl who could laugh endlessly about the smallest things, and had a real excitement about what life had to offer her. I didn't need anyone else to tell me I wasn't 'right', I knew that better than anyone. My mission now is to support people suffering as I did with a message of support with what they're going through, tools and ideas that might help, and a strong message of hope for the future. At 63, which I am at the time of writing, many people I know are in a rut, yet having beaten anxiety I'm now doing more with my life than I ever did when I was struggling just to get up in the morning, let alone face the day. It's a wonderful feeling - so the main message is that it doesn't matter how long you've been struggling or what age you are, when you beat anxiety you will get an entirely new lease of life - and that's fantastic at any age. On a personal note I'm married to my soul mate, we have 5 cats, and I live in the middle of the UK. I follow a number of fantastic thinkers, as it's important to immerse yourself in healthy thinking as often as you can, I'm a Toastmaster and professional public speaker, and I keep life simple and encourage my clients to do the same, and my friends.

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