How Not To Make A Drastic Mistake You Will Regret

Late last night I discovered my dishwasher was completely flooded…

An irritating hassle I can live without, but honestly it’s a luxury that I’ve got rather used to.

I could’ve made a big song and dance out about it; stressing if it was going to cost me a lot of money to get it fixed, or that I might not be able to have it any more due to the cost of replacement.

Thankfully I’m no longer that much of a drama queen!

I’ve learnt that if I put a reminder on my kitchen blackboard, I can forget my worries and ‘to do’s’ until I’m in a better frame of mind or had a night’s sleep. 

Also like many situations I needed more information, so no point fussing until I had that…

With a clear head I called a repair man who not only turned out to live only a few doors up and could pop round in a few hours, but just as I was about to hang up his wife who’d arranged the appointment made a simple suggestion…

“I’ve learnt from my dishwasher that sometimes they just need to reboot; you could try unplugging it and leaving it for 20 minutes and then plugging it all in again”

You’ve guessed it – it worked; no call fee, no service, just a little bit of free helpful advice.

All it needed was a reboot; the circuit board had got a little overloaded and needed some timeout.

It Doesn’t Have To Be A Drama

Let me share a secret; life doesn’t actually have to be a drama of problems, failure and disaster…

Mostly it’s just a series of small and sometimes bigger challenges that need problem solving to find our best route forward.

We often can’t control the problems that rise, but we do have a choice about how we approach them.

a)    wind ourselves up into a state and make a mountain out of mole hill,
b)    calm down using a little bit of time and space and allow the right solution to present itself.

So Why Choose Panic?

Just like my dishwasher, we can all become overloaded and confused by the regular use and doing too much from the demands of our busy lives and other people.

We get stressed, tense and see everything as a personal affront, as though life is out to get us and each problem just an accumulation on the rest.

When we chose the calmer path life becomes easier again; we can behave like water flowing around the rocks; always seeking the path of least resistance. 

Choose this other path and out of panic we end up just like a hammer trying to bang a nail into a piece of wood – ramming our heads against the problem and ending up with little, but a sore head and more confusion.

By practicing timeout – stopping, stepping away and not focusing on a problem, it allows our nervous system to calm and get out of flight or fight mode and our unconscious mind can get to work finding the solution and the path forward, without us having to think and worry about it so much.

From my former competitive horse riding I was taught;

“Don’t focus too much on the jump because that’s where you will end up – in the jump! Instead focus on where you want to get to the point beyond the jump, straight ahead of you in your eye line”

Small problems only need a small timeout to reboot;

•    just taking a 15 minute coffee break away from the computer
•    taking a walk
•    meditating for 20 minutes
•    A soak in the bath
•    A night being alone doing very little

Medium sized problems need medium sized timeouts to reboot;

•    Having a weekend off all chores
•    A few days to yourself just making you happy
•    Taking a long weekend away – a change is sometimes as good as a break.
•    Or a two week holiday a couple times a year for some proper downtime.

Bigger Problems Need A Bigger Reboot

I went travelling for three months last summer, because I was desperately in need of a life reboot.

I had worn myself out and felt overwhelmed by trying to build my business, writing all the time, helping other people, making money, worrying about my unfulfilled desires, as well as the day to day living stresses and chores.

I was OK with the coffee breaks, exercise and meditations, but not so good on taking weekend downtime or holidays – so my stress levels built up until I ended up unable to see the wood for the trees…

When I left I was ready to jack it all in…

By unplugging fully from my day to day life and taking some proper downtime to let go of all my worries and desire I could come back to focusing on living in the moment and what was immediate.

I returned refreshed, inspired and centred back to myself and once again clearer about what really matters to me, my direction and how to get there.

Disposal Is Not The Only Option…

If we haven’t been taught this skill as children, or don’t practice taking time out to calm down and relax to have a clear mind, we become limited in our responses to feeling scared, overwhelmed and confused.

We end up making drastic responses for minor issues…

Like the equivalent of throwing my 1 year old dishwasher away and buying another new one, just because it’s stop working for a few hours and knowing why!

We choose disposal, just to solve the problem and feel better…

Take heed! The next time you feel the need to just throw away your laptop/TV/job/business/relationship/house out of the proverbial window – STOP!

Take some timeout and let the dust settle, before you do something drastic, that you just might regret…

The expense of replacing some things in life and starting again can be too costly, heart-breaking or sometimes impossible and you could end up losing the one thing that it’s totally irreplaceable….

So walk away, take some space and give yourself however long you need to breathe, calm down, relax and gain a little perspective on the situation.

Perhaps you’re right and it does need an ending and replacing…

Or perhaps it doesn’t and might just need tweaking and the equivalent of a reboot.

I’m sure with a calm nervous system, a clear mind and relaxed body you will work out what’s best way forward and how to go about that.

Written on 2/9/2014 by Jo Warwick. Jo Warwick is a writer, therapist and creator of www.rediscoverthemagic.comShe empowers women to love, like and respect themselves to have a relationship and life worthy of them Don’t Screw It Up ~ Top Ten Ways To Create A Relationship That’s Just Right For You – download your free copy from the website.

Photo Credit: Chris Phan

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