Avoiding “Grumpy Pants” Syndrome

It’s not always easy to be the “cup-half-full” person.

There’s nothing more aggravating than resolving to be positive and planting a smile on your face, only to have the rest of the world do everything it can to turn your grin into a grimace.

Nothing deflates your good mood like a patient/spouse/co-worker who is wearing their “grumpy pants” for the day.

Just last week, I walked into the women’s locker room at the hospital and I felt pretty good, in spite of a dull sinus headache and a to-do list that would stop a professional organizer in her tracks.

Then, I heard a familiar buzz of conversation over in the corner. I call it “The Complain Circle.”

Three people were trying to out-do each other on how miserable their lives were. And, as they ventured further down that rabbit hole of grumbling, their voices got louder and louder.

Most of us have heard a Complain Circle before. In fact, you may have even joined in.

“You think THAT’s bad . . . what happened to me was even worse . . .”

On and on the grumbling goes until everyone within earshot is sucked into the negativity vortex.

I really wanted to put both hands over my ears and sing, “La la la la la.” But, that would have been a little too obvious. Besides, it would have been impossible to get my scrubs on with my hands over my ears.

So, here’s what I did instead:

First, I sat down in a quiet place and closed my eyes. Then, I pictured myself enclosed in a protective bubble.

You can do this, too. Create a protective bubble around yourself to protect you from GPPs (Grumpy Pants People). This bubble of yours needs to be very flexible. Negativity can bounce against the outside of it, but it can’t penetrate it. You can just “be” in your bubble. It is your private, invisible barrier that will keep the infection of negative energy away.

When you close your eyes, imagine a strong image of your personal, private bubble. You can make it like Glinda the Good Witch’s bubble from the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Or, you can imagine a protective shield like the ones in Star Trek.

It’s your bubble. Whatever works for you is what you need.

That’s it. Your bubble can protect you anytime you need it. It’s like another layer of epidermis to keep you from harm.

The only trick is, you have to activate it when you need it. That’s the easy part.

The first time you imagine your unique protective bubble, it will take a few minutes. Maybe 10. I suggest you go ahead and find a comfortable place where you can take your 10 minutes before you actually need it.

Whenever you need to counteract the negative vibes of GPPs, you will have your bubble in your bag of tricks.

Do you need more tips to make your workdays easier and more fun? Click here to get my free eBook, “A Doctor’s Guide: Simple Steps to Ease Stress” and stop burnout in its tracks!

CATEGORIES: Blog, Connection on January 27, 2014 by Starla Fitch, M.D.

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2 thoughts on “Avoiding “Grumpy Pants” Syndrome

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