I wrote this a while ago and never published it, because I didn't think it really "said" very much. But reading it again today, having had a busy time at work recently made me decide it was worth publishing – if it helps just one person to chill out a little.
Stop. Breathe. Chill the fuck out.
My wife has been practising Mindfulness recently and as part of her course she was asked about how the people in her life respond to stress on a scale, she was the only one in the group to rank their partner at the most relaxed end of the scale. Nobody believed her until the lady running the course (who we both know) backed her up.
When I had my interview at Fishpie, they commented on how relaxed I seemed. Colleagues at my previous job, friends at uni and my family all comment on how laid back I am.
How do I remain so totally chilled in a world we're constantly told is stressful? How do I not let things annoy me? How do I stay happy all the time?
I don't always.
But I stop, I breathe and I chill the fuck out.
That guy cut me up while I was driving? Maybe he had somewhere to be, maybe he honestly didn't see me, maybe he's a huge bell-end – but me being annoyed about it the for the next ten minutes won't do me any good so I let it go.
I've spent four hours in the morning at work trying to solve a problem with no luck, only to come back after lunch and see the problem immediately? Hey, at least the problem is solved.
I'm at the bottom of the steps at London Bridge station and my train is just pulling up to the platform? I choose not to run for and probably miss it, I choose to wait for the next one. No stress.
Sometimes you can't change the things that happen to you, or around you. You might think there's nothing you can do to reduce your stress or annoyance. But for me, if I can't change something I try to change how I look at it. If something is beyond my control I try instead to control how I respond.
I commute to London by train and trains in the UK don't have a reputation for being punctual or plentiful. Sometimes trains are delayed on their route to the station I get on at, or after I've boarded and an stuck on said delayed train. Personally, having no connection to the train company other than them requesting a large sum of my money every month I can't do anything about the train being delayed. I can moan all I like, tut all I like, stress about it all I like, but it won't make the train move. The train will be delayed whether I'm stressed or not. So why stress? Yes, I pay a significant portion of my monthly income on the train fare and so am paying a lot of money to be on this stuck train. But getting annoyed over that fact will do nothing other that stress me out, so why bother. I let it go.
Being relaxed isn't about not caring. For me it's about caring enough about my mental and emotional well-being to try and find the silver lining where possible. If I can possibly be happy about something, then focus on that, instead of dwelling on the negative. It doesn't mean I'm blind to the negatives, to stress, to annoyance – it just means I choose to focus on the bright side whenever I can.