You may recall that I’ve been doing some therapy to help me like people again, everyone from stupid idiot drivers to my beloved immediate family. For a host of reasons, I’ve been experiencing an unusual amount of anxiety and anger that is not only unhealthy but also kind of a drag. I don’t want to constantly snipe at my kids. I don’t want to shout f-bombs at passing truckers. I don’t want to lie awake plotting my husband Doo’s demise while suffering his godforsaken snoring.
Anyhoo, one of the tools I’m learning to use is a relatively simple but powerful phrase that essentially forces me into a less fear-based mindset. When I start to feel irritated or panicked, I say, “It would be nice if …” Something about reframing my thoughts through this particular lens allows me to let go of the negativity, sort of a “Jesus take the wheel” or “inshallah” mantra.
For example, when an 18-wheeler decides to block both lanes in a zipper merge, preventing me from rightfully driving until the actual merge site, 2 fricking miles down the road, I whisper, “It would be nice if this idiot stayed to the left, but I’ll be OK if he doesn’t.” Or when Doo’s nasal antics have my blood pressure soaring for the third consecutive night, I repeat, “It would be nice if Doo could breathe properly so I could sleep, but I’ll push through tomorrow, regardless.”
The technique doesn’t always work, but I have noticed an uptick in my happiness level, and more important, I’m beginning to like people again. It would be nice if this continues!