Because I’m a psychotherapist as well a certified coach, many of my clients share stories with me about having experienced incredible anxiety in various types of situations. One common anxiety-ridden situation is sitting in traffic.
I share with my clients the concept of having a Tool Kit. It provides a feeling of preparedness and the knowledge that you have what you need – the notion of “I got this!”
Some of the things I recommend people put in their Traffic Tool Kit is water, non-perishable snacks, music you enjoy or that wakes you up, music that relaxes you, a book on CD, gum or mints, Tylenol, a car charger for your phone and even a blanket.
We also talk about the importance of keeping thoughts in check and the relief that can come with surrendering to the situation. When we yell, pound the steering wheel, and clench our fists, we fight against our current circumstances but with no results. It doesn’t get us where we want to go any faster, or cause the cars in front of us to part any sooner. If we focus on our breath (simply inhaling and exhaling at a steady, controlled rate) and remind ourselves that there is nothing we can do to change the situation, we release the resistance we feel and the accompanying symptoms of anxiety may begin to subside. You can choose how you respond to a situation in which you feel a lack of control.
Having a Tool Kit enables you to be proactive instead of reactive.
Are there Tool Kits you can assemble for other areas of your life that challenge you? Examples might be putting together some snacks, drinks, toothbrush, toothpaste, travel make-up and moisturizers on days when you have endless errands to run or back to back meetings, OR a Tool Kit for the babysitter to combat your child’s most common complaints when you’re not home, OR having your iPod and headphones for that dreaded visit to the doctor or dentist’s office.
What preparation can you do to ensure that things go as smoothly and as “painlessly” as possible – so you actually DO feel a semblance of control in situations you wish you could avoid?
If you have other ideas for Tool Kits, I’d love to hear about them and share them with the others who read this blog. Please share them with me by writing email@example.com or by posting your comments below.
Thanks so much!
Laurie Leinwand is a Professional Life Coach assisting clients with a variety of personal and professional life issues. Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching encompasses Laurie’s work as a life coach for women and men, career life coach and work-life balance coach.
Some of the topics of focus in her practice as a professional life coach are assisting and supporting individuals that are stay at home parents (stay at home moms and dads are constantly forced to adapt to their current circumstances as their children grow and change) as well as those returning to work. Laurie works with people reentering the workforce who are unsure of their direction and interested in cultivating professional development skills and support.
Laurie also provides personal development assistance with regard to powerful issues such as how to make a change in your life and finding fulfillment and your life purpose. In addition, she works with clients interested in learning how to say no and setting boundaries.
Ideas 2 Action Life Coaching is located in Randolph, NJ and services the surrounding communities of Morristown, Denville, Parsippany, Florham Park and Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, though much of her coaching is done on the phone and is accessible to clients worldwide. Laurie is a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) as well as ICF-NJ.