Choose an answer to each of these four questions, then find out how you can change your reactions to kiss unnecessary angst goodbye.
While driving to the market, your car tire goes flat. You:
a) Take a deep breath, then change the tire yourself. Got to do what needs to get done!
b) Call your hubby or friend to vent your frustration and ask for help fixing the tire.
c) Fume while the tire is being replaced, then let it bug you for the rest of the day.
You burned the chicken just as your in-laws arrive for dinner. You:
a) Quickly survey your fridge and pantry, pulling together a backup meal.
b) Joke that youre no Rachael Ray, then call the local chicken joint or pizzeria for takeout.
c) Feel mortified. Thats the last time youll attempt to play hostess!
In a hurry, you grab your favorite pair of jeans. Yikes they are too tight! You think:
a) Oops! Its more of a skirt day, anyway.
b) Im bummed its time to lay off the creamy desserts.
c) Ugh! Anything I wear today is not going to look good.
The line at the post office is very long, but you have to mail a package. You:
a) Use the time you wait to write a to-do list and return a phone call.
b) Sigh and feel annoyed, but, hey, thats life.
c) Complain loudly to people around you about how inefficient some things can be.
Mostly As: Calm and Collected
Kudos to capable you, at ease with making last-minute changes! Want to take your ace problem-solving skills to the next level? Plan ahead. For example, tuck baby wipes into your purse for spills and cook make-ahead dishes for entertaining. And polish your positive outlook even more by learning a lesson from each predicament. So you dropped your phone in dishwater? Next time, let it ring during chores.
Mostly Bs: Panicked, Yet Proficient
Youre in tune with your emotional and practical sides. But try to gain more control over your physical reaction. Each time you stress out, your brain sends threat signals to body parts that control breathing, heart rate and adrenaline. Dont put yourself through unnecessary anxiety for minor upsets. As soon as you feel your heart racing, calm yourself with this simple exercise: Concentrate on a peaceful place thats all your own say, your backyard garden. Imagine yourself sitting in it or slowing walking in it.
Mostly Cs: Downright Frazzled
Mishaps and missteps often overwhelm you. Your heart tends to react first, instead of your head so decision-making abilities are compromised. When faced with a dilemma, ask yourself: Am I in danger? If the answer is no, focus on putting the scenario in perspective.
And ID your angst: Figure out the underlying cause, such as fear of being late, fear of disappointing others, fear of embarrassment. Zeroing in on your hot-button issue and the scenarios when you have felt similarly stressed will help you to see a pattern. Next step: Think through and write down various concrete ways you can deal with that negative pattern in the future. Keep that paper in your purse. This will give you rehearsed solutions, just what you need when stress makes it difficult for you to spontaneously weigh options.