Did you wake up late today because of the time change?
Waking up late is stressful, especially if there is a big presentation at school or work today. You rush to shower, shave, and slick your hair back, hoping it was not obvious that you were “one of those people”! The truth is, you are one of those people.
It’s okay…but if you believe these three things, you have likely believed that today is the end of the world.
1. Nothing else will go right today because I woke up late
If you believe this to be true, you will likely focus on any negative experience today just to confirm your belief that nothing will go right today. Catching your foot on the curb while walking, bumping into the door because you didn’t open it fully, and spilling the sugar on the desk while sweetening your coffee will provide “evidence” that today is going to be a bad day.
2. Waking up late on this day is the butt of so many jokes, and I don’t want to be laughed at
Many of us will attribute any lateness to one forgetting to set the clock! You might have compassion for someone who comes in late due to an “alarm clock malfunction”, if they seem really embarrased. Admit it, you probably have laughed at someone else when they were late, especially if the tardy one is laughing also.
Even if you are laughed at, I encourage you to take it in stride, or politely acknowledge the error and inform the individual(s) that right now, you are not in a laughing mood about this and perhaps later you will find it funny that you were late. Making a joke about yourself can help you take control of this situation so that others are not able gain attention over your mishap.
3. I should be more responsible. I wonder what else I will mess up!
This type of thinking is a cognitive distortion that we call Catasprophizing. With this type of thinking, we become a fotrune teller of sorts and will often purposely sabotoge our day to prove ourselves right! Sound helpful? I didn’t think so.
There are techniques to get over today and days like this.
Thoughts are intertwined with our feelings. How we think about a particular issue, will determine how we feel about a particular emotion. Notice that if you think that being laughed at is horrible, or awful, you will experience unpleasant emotions when people laugh at you, or when you perceive they will laugh at you. Think about a red stop sign. Picture one right now.
When you are aware of any of the above thoughts…STOP! You can think of the stop sign, or say, “STOP” out loud, if you have to. Do not allow yourself to continue with this thinking.
Next, replace this unhelpful thought with something more realistic.
Instead of “I should be more responsible”, give yourself some grace and replace this with, “I am only human, I will make mistakes. I will do better next time”. This will help bring down the level you have given the previous thought that would create your personal catastrophe.
The first unhelpful thought above is a common perception following a mistake made earlier in the day. You will forget and ignore any positives that will occur the rest of the day. Additionally, to prove yourself right, you might attribute any positives as accidents or not meant for you to enjoy! Kind of weird, isn’t it? So, STOP it and replace any negative thoughts that are unfounded to thoughts that are more realistic so that you can avoid imaginary catastrophes!
You can do it! I believe in you.