How many times a day do you just feel like screaming?
Most of us lead frantic, chaotic, stressful lives. Whether you have young children hanging on your bathrobe, you face a daily grind of a workload, or you travel for a living, we all feel like screaming approximately 10 times a day.
Here are 10 frequent causes: being late, fighting traffic, screaming children, irritating spouses, procrastination, financial shortage, incompetent bosses, clueless coworkers, overpowering habits, and lack of sleep.
Sometimes I actually wake up in the middle of the night wanting to scream, but my snoring husband with his nose in my ear might inadvertently slug me.
I have personally acquired three alternatives to the dreaded scream.
This doesn’t mean I am still not occasionally screaming inwardly, but I have learned to replace the scream with a smile. Okay the smile may be more of a grimace, but hardly anyone else will know.
Alternative number one is the tried and tested “take deep breaths and count to ten”. When I was teaching I actually had a big drawer to the far side of my room that I could stick my head all the way in and huff deeply. By the time I completed this, any student uproars were squelched. Admittedly, the kids might have thought I was snorting something in the drawer; but I didn’t mind returning to the astonished, but quiet faces. Ten seconds and a head rush never hurt anybody.
Secondly, get in a bit of exercise to force an adrenaline rush. If your children are hanging on your bathrobe they might enjoy a little circular motion. If you are driving, try a bit of bumping up-and-down and flailing your free arm. This arm might even make you laugh a bit and even increase your air flow. You will certainly laugh if you look at the astonished looks on the faces of people driving next to you. This also works well in an airport, and befuddled travel agents will readily help you first. In the workplace, make sure your flailing antics are only in front of your coworkers, not your boss.
Thirdly, pray. If your spouse is screaming at you, get in his or her face and began loudly praying for them. I promise you they will usually be stopped in their tracks. This same tactic works well with ranting teenagers and coworkers. In the workplace, be sure not to use specific God words so you won’t be accused of religious indoctrination. At home, pray that they are indoctrinated! Prayer probably won’t cover lottery tickets, depleted bank accounts, or irate drivers giving you the peace sign minus one finger. On the other hand, it can’t hurt.
I realize that none of these may actually change the overall circumstances, but they’ve changed me!
So now when I feel like screaming, ten seconds of counting and deep breathing, ten seconds of flailing or jogging in place, and ten seconds of prayer usually result in me smiling. Others may have walked away from me because they thought I was a bit “strange,” but so what! I brought my blood pressure down and now I’m smiling. However, I am no longer surprised if I hear a scream from those around me; but at least it wasn’t from me.
Read more posts by Debra Peppers, Ph.D., here. Dr. Peppers blogs for JenningsWire.