Last week I bought my wife Pae Pwang-O’Connor a new pair of trainers and they’ve already started squeaking.
Everywhere she goes with me she’s squeaking away, like there’s a mouse doing press ups in her shoe. It’s so annoying, but she won’t give them up. I’ve looked everywhere for a hole, but I think it could be how her ankle presses down or the moisture generated between her toes when in motion. At the moment I just haven’t got the time to fully analyse the footwear.
It’s driving me to distraction and the problem is only escalating in my head. Every squeak feels like a bird is taking a shit on the shiny bonnet of my success. But as much as I’ve tried she refuses to use her Segway or just wait in the car. Many of us are faced with these impossible situations that are the cause of much anxiety. Without the right mental tools these problems will only escalate, leading us to take the physical action of hiding things in the gas barbeque outside, which I have not done.
When you feel like you’re about to do a bad thing it’s important to reconnect with nature. Remember we’re all animals walking this planet. Large, hulking animals that have bodily functions, that need food and water like a cow, but a cow that holds down a nine to five job and whose second car is a Vauxhall Corsa.
When you feel the stress kicking in it’s important to reconnect to your animal body. Try going under your desk for a scratch, burying food somewhere in the office or sourcing milk from a colleague. Reminding yourself of your animal nature will reconfigure the stressful thoughts in your brain. You’ll process them differently and suddenly see them in a whole new context. This technique didn’t work with Pae’s trainers, they were too annoying. I reconnected with my inner animal, but the squeaks just became bird calls from a bird that wouldn’t shut up and that I wanted to shoot, pull out all its feathers and roast on a spit.
The technique does work because when an accountant kept pestering me for receipts that I’d actually lost on a day away from the office I reconnected with my animal self. In my head she was just a pig trying to snout out my truffles, but I won’t let her near the truffles, for my truffles are highly prized and shouldn’t be eaten by such a beastly creature.
Dr Morris O’Connor is the best selling author of Inner Animal, Outer Normal Person In The Office.