Previously I was amused by my colleagues’ moans about trains being late or overcrowded. I support the idea –
if you can’t change the situation, change the attitude towards it.
Declaring this kind of statement was quite easy because London Underground is not so bad in comparison to the Overground system.
Recently I had to put my money where my mouth was.
I had to travel to Midlands in the morning. From my local station I had to go to Central London and take the train from there. Tickets were booked online and awaited to be collected at the central station.
A usual precaution – to leave the house earlier – was difficult to implement as it was almost at dawn. I could have collected my pre-booked tickets at least one day before though (unfortunately I didn’t).
In the beginning I felt quite confident because according to the time-table I would have spare 20 minutes to collect my tickets before the departure.
My inexperience with overground trains played evil tricks with me. When I got to my local station the announcement board greeted me with dirty words “train is delayed”.
The alternative train would arrive 3 minutes before my train to Midlands, which meant that I couldn’t have time to collect tickets.
At that moment it was so tempting to succumb to ranting about unreliable train service or scolding myself for not having collected tickets earlier.
Instead, I quiet my mind and listen to my intuition. I dismissed my impulsive decision to take the first departing train, as I realised that the delayed train would arrive earlier than any others anyway.
15 minutes later I was boarding my delayed train praising myself for keeping calm and still maintaining a good mood.
My euphoria faded away when the train started slowing down and switch to speed of the snail and my chance to collect tickets was melting away in front of my eyes.
I don’t do well negative emotions, especially being stressed. I was fighting my urge to go and nag the train driver to hurry up.
Then I decided to surrender to the circumstance and accept the possibility that I have to take another train and unfortunately to buy another ticket.
What I usually suggest to my clients is
to find what it is good about the given situation even when it seems that nothing good can be found.
What can be good about the option to spend a ridiculous amount of money for another train ticket? I realised that for once in my life I could afford it. Only a year ago I couldn’t fork out an extra amount of money for unseen circumstances.
This gave me opportunity to stop and appreciate what I have and how far I’ve gone.
I relaxed and started imagining how I’m going to feel when I make it to be on time for my train. I could feel the sense of relief in advance.
This is another tip that works for my clients
to live through the situation in the future now. To feel the wanted circumstances in advance.
Miraculously the train picked up speed and I managed to board my train to Midlands two minutes before the departure. I experienced exactly the same emotions I had imagined 10 minutes before.
I’m not saying that my thoughts made the train to go faster. My point is that despite the circumstances I was determined to have a pleasant travel experience and tune into the day with a cheerful mood and ready to communicate with people.
Life may throw at you different challenges and it’s up to you how to react – you can treat it as a constant struggle or you can feel being trusted to handle any situation and enjoying it.
Please share in the comments below how you deal with stressful situations.