The young woman sitting beside me on the plane seemed really nervous. When I asked her if she had ever been to the DFW airport, it took several seconds for her to answer. Ahhh, I thought, English is not her first language. Victoria and her sister, Maria, were from Argentina. But because they had made their reservations the day before, Maria was on a different flight, with a different airline. And Victoria didn’t know where she was. As we touched down during a storm in Dallas, the pilot told us our gate wasn’t available. Time passed with the pilot keeping us up to date on the situation. After more than an hour and a half of sitting on the tarmac, it was announced that because of the lightning, the ground crews weren’t allowed outside. Which meant we would be on the plane until the storms passed. They seemed to go in waves, as soon as one storm finished, another would roll in. There was nothing we could do but sit and wait it out. Victoria’s anxiety was heightened because her cell phone battery was so low that she could not call her sister, and her sister must not have been able to call her either. I can imagine the stories that were running through Victoria’s mind, wondering what was happening to her sister, Maria. Finally, after more than 3 hours, the storms passed and we were able to disembark.
What do you do when you are faced with an uncertain situation? Do you stay calm and content or does your mind start making up stories about the worst things that could possibly happen? Granted, occasionally the stories are helpful and calming, but most of the time they are scary and distressful. The mind takes a negative view about what you are confronted with and blows it all out of proportion which can fill you with fear and anxiety. If you want to keep your sanity, Don’t Believe It!
What can you do the next time you are faced with a scary situation?
**Breathe deeply, focusing on your breath. It’s hard to make rational decisions when fear and anxiety are flowing rampantly through your mind and body. Breathing deeply helps calm the nerves.
**Try to imagine the best case scenario and how good it would feel. Concentrate on the good feelings as long as you can.
**If your mind starts making up negative stories, Don’t Believe It! Instead tell yourself: I know that I’m just making up stories that have no proof. These stories are not helping me and I’m not going to believe them. I’m going to tell my mind to STOP IT! and I’m going to focus on something much more pleasant.
**Then turn your attention toward someone you love, or someplace you have visited where you were happy, or something you’ve done that was really fun. Keep your mind engaged on positive, uplifting activities as much as you can. The more you do this, the better you get at it.
Oh, and by the way, Maria’s plane had landed before the storms and she had been safely in the airport the whole time.
Remember, when it comes to the negative stories that your mind makes up, Don’t Believe It!. You always have a choice where you put your attention.
Hugs and Love,
©2019 Dawnie Dahir