"Hey, where's my phone?? I had it a little while ago - I think - I mean I used it like, what? An hour ago? Didn't I? I tried calling it. Wait, did I put it on vibrate??! I'm dead!!"
That's me. Like, not every day, but almost... Maybe it's you, too. The "Where's My Phone??!!" panic attack is all pervasive. In fact, I don't know anyone who doesn't have it. Your heart starts to beat harder, you dart mindlessly from room to room in your house or apartment searching wildly for it. You rummage through your purse, pockets, backpack, briefcase, in near hysteria - taking things out, putting them back, taking them out again.. "Losing it" (the phone and your mind) in the car is a an ever-present danger, too. Ripping up the floor mats, hurling things out of the glove compartment - is standing operating procedure.
Here's the thing: We usually find it - eventually. Okay sometimes it's really lost, but most of the time it's found. But meanwhile, we become almost sick with panic and can barely think about anything else. Oh, and sometimes, "leaving it" is as anxiety-provoking as "losing it." About a week ago, I'd just left our apartment and grabbed a cab to go to a meeting when I suddenly thought, "Wait, did I bring my phone?!" The "Where's My Phone??!!" panic attack took over immediately. I started rummaging through my purse. I went through everything. "I must've brought it," I said out loud. I couldn't have left it." But I couldn't find it. "Wait, wait, wait," I said to the driver, "we've got to turn around; I've forgotten my phone!!" He sighed and started to make a U turn. "No, wait, wait, wait, if we go back, I'll be late for my meeting. Turn around again. I'm really sorry.." I said. He sighed again and said, "It happens all the time." "How'm I gonna make it through the whole day without my phone?" I thought. "What about all the people who only know that number, what about..." (I went on and on. I was so "worked up," as we say in our family that I actually gave the driver the address of my office building instead of the address where my meeting was being held...and didn't realize it til I got out of the cab...)
But guess what? It was fine. It wasn't a disaster. The sky didn't fall. Later, when I got to work, I called people who might need me, told them what happened and made sure they had my office number. Was it inconvenient? Absolutely. Was it "rattling?" Definitely. Was it a disaster? Nope. The bottom line is, we have got to calm down. And it's not just the thing with our phones. It's a lot of stuff. Being in a state of "high anxiety" seems to be almost commonplace. And most of the causes are not life-changing, or disaster-provoking situations, they're just annoying and inconvenient...and not really worth getting all that "worked up" about...
So what do we do?
1. Take a deep breath and let it out. That helps everything.
2. Be still and quiet your mind for a few minutes. If you meditate, do it now.
3. Ask yourself the age-old question, "What's the worst thing that could happen? Will I be able to handle it?" The answer will come back, "Yes!"
4. Smile. Actually, laugh at yourself. Pretend you're starring in a comedy routine called, "Where's My Phone??!!"
5. Get over it.
To help you get in the mood, here's a clip from one of my all-time favorite movies, produced by and starring Mel Brooks along with Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn and Ann Bancroft... High Anxiety.
Gail Blanke's Lifedesigns ©2014 All Rights Reserved
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