Learning how to handle my emotions in undesirable situations is a key factor to my happiness. Even though I’ve come a long way from the once defensive girl who always let her emotions get the best of her, sometimes I still struggle to get a grip.
A few days ago, after much deliberation I decided to get off my comfortable bed to run an errand. Following a quick change of clothes, I jumped into my car and pulled off the driveway. I stopped at an intersection at the end of my street and waited for a chance to turn onto the major. When I finally got the chance, I quickly turned onto the major and sped up to avoid holding back the incoming line of traffic behind me. Before I could pump my brake to slow down, that’s when it happened—the police spot me from 400 meters away and pulled me over for driving 10km/h over the speed limit.
I was in total shock for several reasons: It was the first time I got pulled over, I was a minute away from home, and it was very unusual for the police to be present in such a rural area with a speed gun. Also, the speed I was driving at (60km/h) was the average speed of almost every vehicle on that particular stretch of road—even the police drove at that speed.
I suppose it was warranted, but the officer seemed to think it was quite amusing to give me a speeding ticket costing $1000 TT (i.e. $150 US) for driving 10km/h over the “speed limit”. I got so incredibly upset; I immediately turned around and drove back home. In the space of 5 minutes, I left home in a great mood and came back in the verge of tears. I was extremely bothered by it and regretted leaving home—my emotions were clearly getting the best of me. All I wanted was to forget about it and feel normal again. I really needed a ‘woosah’ moment. Here’s what I did to overcome my emotions (after venting to Andy):
- I accepted what happened—I got a (very expensive) speeding ticket. No matter how upset I got, it was not going to change what had already happened. The only variable in the situation was my reaction and that’s what I needed to change.
- Instead of regretting the situation and thinking of ways in which it could’ve been avoided, I stopped overthinking it and engaged in other things to occupy my mind.
- Instead of considering it bad luck, I considered myself lucky. The situation could’ve been a lot worse. Maybe I could’ve gotten into a head on collision while going onto the major and perhaps not even making it back home.
- Instead of feeling like a victim to a harsh officer and thinking, “Why did this happen to me?” I thought, “What is this trying to teach me?” I believe it happened for a reason and was a learning experience.
Now, aside from having to actually pay the ticket, I feel as though it never happened. Has your emotions ever gotten the best of you? How did you get over it?
Smile! Life is better when you’re laughing!