Picture it. I'm at the dentist and it's been a minute since my list visit. Like....a minute. I'm in an absolute panic and convinced that something, not sure what, horrible is about to happen. Palms are sweaty, shoulders are up around my ears, hygienist looking at me all concerned saying "are you sure you are OK?" Yes yes, I am.
No, no I'm not. I'm in this chair, something horrible is about to happen and I'm about to die. Right? RIGHT?
Wait, wait. Let's spend a little time with our good friend reality testing and work this out.
Have I experienced irreversible trauma at a dentist or in a dental situation? No.
Is this really hurting? No, just a little uncomfortable.
Is my hygienist being evil and sadistic right now? No, she's just trying to get a minute's worth of plaque build up off of my skanky teeth.
Am I going to be in this chair forever? No.
Am I in danger right now? Any bears, terrorist, black widow spiders lurking in the shadows? No.
Are my loved ones OK? Yes.
OK well then I'm probably OK right now. Breath in, breath out. Relax those shoulders, relax that back, relax those hands. It will be over soon.
The simple reminder of I'm probably OK Right Now is extremely helpful when our body gets confused and interpreters not dangerous situations as dangerous.
Our bodies go through a change when we get anxious. That sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear and prepares you to deal with whatever situation we are facing by increasing your heart and lung action, giving you tunnel vision, dilating your pupils, etc; Anxiety and fear can be extremely helpful when trying to get away from the bear or whatever dangerous situation you find yourself in. A chair at the dentist office (or running late or misplacing something or having a disagreement with a loved one or not having enough money or falling on your face in front of everyone at a party) is uncomfortable, unpleasant, nerve wracking but it's not dangerous. You're probably not going to di. It's common for our bodies / minds to get confused and misread signals. I also have this theory on how we are all so over stimulated and how that plays into all this but I'll save that one for another day.
The next time you find yourself in a situation, panicking, ask your self...am I OK right now? Chances are, you are. Whatever is going on, it will be over soon.
Take all of the moments of OK-ness that you are given and remember to say Woohoo!
And just in case you need a reminder that you're probably OK right now, give Justin and Jimmy a little lookey-lou.