My car license plate reads PCFL MND, a vanity for which I pay extra to the BMV on an annual basis. The idea of a zen state of mind sounds good, something I strive toward, but frequently find allusive. I know all the things to say to myself in order to put crazy thoughts in check, yet there are certain events that are regular triggers for me. One of these is house guests. I hate them!!! Well not “them” exactly but their decision to stay when the nice visit is over. Okay, sometimes it is not possible, like when they are from out of state for instance…..I still hate the invasion of privacy. My dad’s old saying: “Guests and fish begin to smell after three days.” certainly holds for me. I know I’m being unreasonable, but this has not changed how I feel. Apparently my privacy is paramount to my having a peaceful mind?
I don’t know about you, but when something really bothers me, unreasonable or not, I find it hard to be nice.

What to do?
1) Crazy or not, accept how you feel! The more you struggle against a genuine feeling, the more it will needle you and catapult you into saying and doing things you may regret.
2) Give yourself as much space as you can. Create headspace as well as physical distance from the issue. Go for a walk! Sit in a favorite spot! Allow yourself time to process the situation.
3) Call a good friend and vent. Thank her/him for allowing you to unload.
4) Practice activities that are soothing to you: have a favorite beverage (in case it contains alcohol, just have one), take a warm bath or shower, listen to your favorite music, take a nap, play with your pet, play with your partner, practice meditation or yoga, etc.

Basically, take it easy! If you are dealing with something that is uncomfortable for you, it creates stress. Enough stress can literally shorten your life. Stress has been shown to cause cardiovascular damage, as well as immune dysfunction. Stress certainly contributes to relationship conflict (you’re much more likely to have an argument with someone when you’re stressed).

Ultimately, you may discover the thing you’re stressed about is not as awful as you anticipated. There are positive aspects to most situations (even house guests). “Am I making a mountain out of a mole turd?” is a good question to ask yourself. On the other hand, if the stressor is huge, constant and unbearable, you may not be able to reframe it and make it palatable for yourself. In that case, a more critical problem solving and decision making strategy needs to be applied. Stay tuned to my next blog…….. “I really need to do something about this!”