Indulge in a PBR Before Tackling Difficult & Challenging Situations

I saw this meme the other day...

Source: Unknown

...and it immediately reminded me of this photo.
When the war broke out and millions of men left their jobs to fight overseas, these beautiful ladies were among the millions of women who entered the workforce to do jobs they had never done before while still caring for their children and enduring sleepless nights wondering if and when their loved ones would return home safely.

As one would suspect, it was a difficult and challenging time. But thankfully, there was PBR to help them get through it!

That's right, I said, "PBR." Did you happen to notice all those PBR cans on the table? I counted...there's eight of them. Ohhh...how these ladies loved their PBR! Rarely was there ever a time my grandmother didn't have one popped open.

So where am I going with this? Well...I'm convinced that PBR helped my grandmother and her sisters get through this difficult time and...
I'm equally convinced that indulging in a PBR when YOU are faced with a difficult or challenging situation can be incredibly beneficial, as well.
BUT IN A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WAY, OF COURSE
LET ME EXPLAIN...
It is normal to experience unpleasant emotions like anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, panic, or dread when faced with difficult and challenging situations - especially when you don't feel prepared to handle them. But here's the problem with that...
  • In these situations when your emotions are powerful enough to override rational and objective thinking...
  • they can trigger your Freeze, Flight, or Fight Response (even when real threat or danger doesn't exist)...
  • and cause you to respond in ways that are ineffective, inappropriate, or counterproductive.
Because of this, it is in these moments that knowing how to regulate your emotions is absolutely critical, and it begins with indulging in a little bit of P-B-R.
EMOTIONAL REGULATION

PAUSE

There is tremendous power to be gained from the pause.

  • Resist the urge to react immediately.
  • Pause to give yourself time to breathe and think.

It certainly isn't easy to do because our instinct is to want to react. However, pausing to think prior to reacting is one of the most effective ways to gain personal control as well as situational-control which is why comfort in the pause (and with the silence that comes with it), is a strong indicator of mental strength & maturity.

EMOTIONAL REGULATION

BREATHE

When your emotions are elevated, your heart rate increases because your body is trying to get more oxygen-rich blood to your major muscles so that you can fight, run, or hold still. This depletes your brain of oxygen making it nearly impossible to think clearly.

In most cases, the most appropriate response for the situation in which you find yourself is NOT to engage in a physical fight - or - freeze like a deer in headlights - or - sprint away like a rabbit soon to become a coyote's dinner. No, in these moments, what you really need is for oxygen to quickly return to your brain so that you can begin thinking objectively and rationally again.


The most effective way to make this happen is to consciously slow your breathing. This can be done in the moment without having to remove yourself from the situation. Simply inhale through your nose for a count of three to five. Then, exhale through your mouth for the same count. This will...

  • slow your heart rate & allow blood to flow back to your brain
  • ventilate your body & release toxins
  • allow you to regain control of your body and mind
EMOTIONAL REGULATION

REFLECT

Find your bearings, refocus your mind, and return to a place of objective and rational thinking by reflecting on the various questions below.


Stay focused on the situation and the business you are addressing and consciously let go of emotions that are making it difficult to think objectively.  


And remember that those with whom you're interacting are human too.  Be aware of their emotions and where they might be coming from, but don't allow them to cloud your decision-making. 

Get your head straight by challenging your internal dialogue...

  • Is there evidence to support why you should feel the way that you feel?
  • Are you allowing past experiences to negatively impact your ability to objectively analyze the current situation?
  • Are you taking anything personally?
  • Are irrational fears distorting your perception of reality (fear of death, physical or material harm, alienation, dejection, etc.)?
  • Are you unnecessarily assuming the role of an innocent victim, helpless participant, or inadequate imposter and allowing that to distort how you're viewing and hearing everything?

Put things back into proper perspective by gathering the facts...

  • Are you employing empathy and exploring all perspectives through the eyes and experiences of others - taking into account their priorities, fears, and concerns?
  • Are you reading the situation correctly? What are other ways of looking at it? 
  • How would a neutral third party who wants the best for everyone involved view the situation?
  • What additional information is needed to thoroughly understand the situation? What questions should be asked or explored?
  • Are you making assumptions and filling in the blanks with potentially inaccurate information?
  • What's being said that you are not hearing (consciously or subconsciously)?
  • What are you NOT saying that needs to be said or NOT asking that needs to be asked? 

Pulling It All Together

The next time you're faced with a stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, panic, or dread-inducing situation, pop a PBR to get your head straight and put the situation into proper perspective. Then, with a much more informed and confident state of mind, you can say, "Hold my beer. I've got this!" and really mean it!


August 21, 2019
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