911-therapy calls happen. I get them from friends, relatives, acquaintances, LinkedIn connections and even people who just stumbled on my blog or YouTube channel. They come in the form of phone calls, emails, Facebook-messages, Twitter direct messages, website comments and even text. On rare occasions this type of contact is from someone who realizes things aren’t working, they are unhappy, they know that fixing the problem is going to take time and they are ready to get started. But more often these contacts come mid-crisis. They are looking for a quick, easy and free dumping ground to make the pain go away. They are treating their emotional, mental and psychological wellbeing like going to an urgent care center or like trying to get in shape the week before going on vacation. It never turns out well.
Fortunately there are some easy things you can do to maintain your emotional, mental and psychological health so you don’t end up in need of 911-therapy.
Watch your language! – How you talk about your life cements beliefs into your unconscious mind. Saying things like, “I have to do…” “I need to have…” or “I don’t have time…” establishes the idea that you don’t have a choice; that things just happen to you, and that you don’t control. You always have a choice. Don’t let life live you. Saying things like, “I choose to do…” “I would like to have…” “I didn’t make that a priority…” and “I have made the decision to…” remind our unconscious mind that we do have control over our choices.
Dysfunction is not normal! – The first time someone treats us badly we feel it. We recognize it is happening and we are unhappy about it. When we allow ourselves to be treated badly on a continuing basis (by a boss, a significant other or a “friend”) we start to believe it is normal and acceptable. A young woman shared this story with me: Her boyfriend of 18 months poured a Coke on her in a restaurant because he thought she had laughed at him. She went home mad but didn’t end the relationship. I asked her, “Would you have gone out with him again if that had been a first date?” She emphatically said, “No!” She had become so accustom to being treated badly that she was accepting dysfunction. Where in your life are you trying to create normal out of stupid?
Life is funny. Notice! – We often get so busy checking off the boxes of our daily lives that we forget to notice the silly, funny and crazy things going on around us. Pay attention to events that are outside the box and rather than getting mad about them, share them. Become a true life storyteller. The more animated you are the better you will feel and the more the person hearing the story will enjoy it. Speaking of which, remind me to tell you the story about the time my sister and I found a cockroach at our grandmother’s house.
Your stress is leaking! – Stress has to go somewhere. You might think the “little things” that go wrong or don’t work out or the small ways people treat you unfairly don’t matter. But they do. It leaks out when you yell at your spouse about something completely ridiculous. Have you ever kept a list of the things you fight about and looked at it a month later? There are some great stories there! Or maybe you threw your bag across the car because you couldn’t find something in it. Is that the bag’s fault? What about when you growl at your dog or your kids to leave you alone when all they are trying to do is love you? What are you doing to take care of yourself so your stuff doesn’t build up and negatively affect the people you love?
Get a coach/therapist – I know, I know, you’re fine. You don’t need a coach and you certainly don’t need a therapist. You’ve got everything well under control. There are no worries. There is just one thing I’d like to say about that, my regular clients almost never call me in need of 911-therapy. You know why? Because we talk about, address and come up with solutions for the “little things” in their lives on a regular basis. They care about themselves enough to know that keeping up with their emotional, mental and psychological health keeps them from having major meltdowns or explosions that wreak havoc in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Which “little stressor” is going to be the one that breaks you, the thing that drives you to make that 911-therapy call? Do you really want to wait to find out?
As always, I wish you the MOST from your potential,
Dr. Robyn Odegaard (aka “Doc Robyn”) is internationally known motivational speaker, executive coach and corporate trainer. As CEO of Champion Performance Development, she works with executives, professionals, athletes, and coaches to help them achieve excellence in all aspects of life through active leadership, powerful teamwork, effective communication, Productive Conflict™ and professional disagreement skills. She is the founder of the Stop The Drama! Campaign and author of the books Stop The Drama! The Ultimate Guide to Female Teams and The Ultimate Guide to Handling Every Disagreement Every Time. To work with her one-on-one, have her present to your team, request a custom workshop or invite her to speak at your event, email her at DocRobyn@ChampPerformance.com or call 302-307-3091.