Daily Stress – How to Prevent Petty Dramas From Grinding Away Your Happiness

s there like a broken tree branch, limp and lifeless.

For a moment, I am puzzled. How does a person suffer that kind of injury and yet be standing in front of me, talking? How is he not on the ground unconscious or – at the very least – shrieking? How is he simply there, staring at me, with a wrinkled brow and the same bewildered expression that I must be giving him?

Before we heard my son’s call, my husband and I had been inside, hashing out all of the dramas of daily life: birthday party plans, income tax payments, redecorating decisions, vacation ideas, what to do about our money and the lack thereof.

We can all probably remember a time when we were engulfed in our own worries and then were suddenly and summarily shaken free by something. Often it’s some sort of news, usually bad, which puts everything immediately into perspective. We forget everything else while we get on with the business of surviving.

I wish I could live, all the time, with that sort of acute understanding of what’s really important. Doing so would help me to slow down, to appreciate those around me, to bond more deeply with others, to live from a place of love and kindness rather than sinking, as I sometimes do, into pettiness and spite.

And just as a true drama makes us sit up and take notice of what’s important in our¬† Dramacool lives, it also informs us of ways to get through the little daily things we have to deal with: things that can pile up and be more wearying than those big, adrenaline-charged catastrophes.

Since my son’s accident, I feel as though I’ve been using the big drama in my life to teach me how to better cope with the tiny, daily dramas.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

1. It helps me, in dramas large and small, to make the sound of the ocean with my breath. Whenever I need to focus on my breath, it calms me so much to make that deep, resonant whisper sound the way they teach you to do in yoga class. I direct my breath at the back of my throat, and listen to the sound of the force and power of my own breathing, there inside my head.

I imagine sitting near the ocean with my feet in the sand and the sun sizzling my skin and the scent of salt and earth and the rhythmic, predictable ebb and flow of the ocean. This helps me recognize, in case I’d forgotten, that my body and my mind are made of the same stuff as this ground and this ocean and that I have the power and the resources to get through whatever it is. What’s more, I can help others get through it.