Friday night at work started like any other- busy and a little crap-tastic. I had a few minor annoyances and it looked as if the night was going to go off the rails. You know those times where you just can’t get into a groove no matter what? I could see the writing on the wall and I had that sinking feeling that other people were going to just piss me off all night long. And then… something happened.
I got wind that a friend of mine needed help. The details are unimportant, but she needed help badly, and urgently, and I was in a position where I could do it. Her problem put mine into perspective and when I saw the disparity between my minor annoyances and her looming crisis, the answer was clear. By helping her, I was not only coming to her in a time of desperate need, but I was letting go of what was bothering me because well, that shit just wasn’t important.
It’s not always easy or me to access that train of thought. Oftentimes, when I am thrown into a stressful situation or dealing with issues where it’s one negative stress factor after another, I let it ruin my day, make me angry, or cause me worry. However, this time, I was able to nip it in the bud simply by tying all of those irritations to something that helped someone else avoid a terrible situation. Knowing that the person I was helping would be relieved and have a (much) better day lifted my own spirits and helped me rise above.
I can’t tell you how, exactly, to give away your stress, because I don’t know the nature of it, but I can say that if you can find a way to do it, then it will be one of the most powerful tools you will have for dealing with the daily bullshit life throws at you. When you’re feeling grumpy, wake up on the wrong side of the bed, or if other people are just getting on your nerves, look at the people you know. Read their Facebook statuses. Peek in on their lives and ask yourself, “How can I help them?” If you’re having a lousy day, reclaim it by helping someone else have a better one. It doesn’t have to be a huge rescue operation, it could just be doing one little thing to make the day easier for them. Your day may not get better, or it may, but you can be sure that someone’s day did get better because of something you did. If anything, that’s worth a smile or three.
And this song… always this song.
“Ah, we are numbered, we are numb, we are not alone.”