Keeping calm in a minor emergency can prep you for an actual one
Chances are that if you know me IRL, you’ve gotten wind of my borderline obsession with internet rabbit holes. It may not come as much of a surprise, then, that I often self-soothe by scrolling Reddit.
I follow a very large, super random assortment of subreddits (for all the non-Redd heads in the building, that’s Reddit-speak for discussion boards that are broken down by topic). As of last week, one of my unexpected new favorites is r/LifeProTips. As most subreddits go, this one is exactly what it sounds like: tips, ‘lifehacks,’ and li’l nuggets of wisdom. It’s also a revealing window into the mood and mindset of a given moment.
It’s fitting that one of today’s trending posts is about handling crisis. What it offers is a piece of advice that I imagine a majority of adults would recognize as obviously true, especially those of us who’ve paid any conscious thought to the mechanisms behind emotional self-regulation and habits. And yet, it’s a life skill that’s way too easy for some of us to forget. And by “some of us” I mean “me.”
Posted by Reddit user madmaxextra, the heading reads: “If you’re in a hurry and something goes wrong (e.g. can’t find your keys) resist the urge to get angry and focus on clearly thinking. It’s practice for real crisis.”
The author goes on to elaborate:
When I am late and can’t find my keys I want to get angry but I resist the urge and concentrate on thinking clearly to figure out where they must be. If you make a habit of this, you’ll deal better with unexpected things in life and if a real crisis occurs you’ll be set up to think clearly and react productively.
It’s basic psychology: anxiety inhibits clear and rational thinking. If you’re able to talk yourself through the many, relatively insignificant spikes of distress we’re all bound to encounter in our daily lives, you’ll be better equipped for navigating moments of potentially life-changing—or life-threatening—disaster. All it takes is a small, internal prompt: consider your next step. And sometimes, we could all use that reminder.