Gracefully Weathering Our Personal Storms - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Gracefully Weathering Our Personal Storms

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Nothing can compare to the destruction and devastation of a disaster.  When a monster storm like Hurricane Sandy strikes, even preparation and precautionary measures seem futile.  We can spend hours, days and even months hypothesizing the various scenarios of what it would be like, and speculating the countless circumstances of the aftermath and how it will feel, but when calamity ensues and we are in the moment, it is always different and oftentimes much worse than we anticipated. 

The same can be said for what happens when the unexpected occurs and we are faced with the reality of weathering our own personal storms.  The crashing waves of water seizing miles of surface can somehow feel less crushing than the raw emotions of sadness, bitterness or frustration we feel when the rug has been pulled out from underneath us.  How to act gracefully and graciously when our worst fears are realized is an extremely daunting task, even for someone who is trained to do so. 

Straddling both camps as a mother and professional expert, I aim to set the highest standard of a good example, but I will not lie and say it is easy.  On the contrary, it takes the effort of a Mack truck to get through a particularly challenging moment with aplomb.  Some people are simply better at this than others.  Whether it comes naturally or is something that has to be learned, there are certainly a few useful etiquette guidelines we can apply to help us through.

  • Rise Above the Fray:  Stress is compounded when family and friends come together to try and resolve a situation.  Many times information is misconstrued, people get offended and feelings get hurt. Rather than arguing and adding more strain to an already fragile situation, make every attempt to rise above the fray in order to disengage so that you may focus on the bigger picture at hand and give those that need care your undivided attention. 
  • Get Up Close and Personal: In today's world of detachment due to endless technology, it is quicker than ever to experience a communication breakdown.  When we do not take the time to speak in person and have an opportunity to read facial expressions, hear the tone of a voice or study another's body language, we are essentially missing out.  This is when assumptions are made that wind up wreaking havoc and leading to long term separation and severed relationships.
  • Release Steam in Small Spurts: It is always best to take a breath and count to ten, especially when there is a risk of saying something or doing something you may regret later.  If at all possible, try to release steam in small spurts.  Take in a yoga class, practice mindful meditation, picture yourself poised and composed getting through the difficult time with grace and graciousness.  
  • Seek Solace in a Smile:  As difficult as things may seem, there is always room for levity.  The most dignified and civilized people are able to wear a smile regardless of the adversity before them.  If a smile does not come naturally in these moments, it is perfectly acceptable to fake it until you make it.  With practice, a smile does make everyone feel slightly more calm and certainly more at peace. 

 

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