Even this headline gave you a panic attack. “Is she talking about me? Why is she talking about me? She doesn’t even know me! Why would she single me out in public like this? Will this affect my credit score and my standing in the community?” Well, yes, I’m talking about you—you need to calm down. Take a deep breath. All this panicking isn’t good for your health.
You live in a state of constant dread. Will you lose your job? Will your boyfriend leave you? Should you get that weird mole on your shoulder checked? Why did you have to notice that mole five minutes after the doctor’s office closed? Is it possible to die of skin cancer overnight? What if you go to the emergency room but die of skin cancer before they can examine you? That would be awful!
Even small things can become a nail-biter and a cliff-hanger for you. You’re driving to the grocery store to get some chips and soda, but what if they don’t have Dr. Pepper? You were really in the mood for Dr. Pepper, but what if they don’t have it? Alarm. Frenzy. Sirens going off. Lights flashing. Godzilla destroying Tokyo. Armageddon.
You don’t sweat the small stuff, but the first hint of danger sends you into a full shvitz. When you receive truly bad news, your heart starts racing and palpitating. Your hands start shaking. Your mind starts spinning out of control. It will take either a good long hug or a nice strong drink—preferably both—to keep you from crawling up the walls.
You are prone to panicking only when it comes to your perceived social status. Social disapproval, or even the hint of you possibly one day being even mildly unpopular—or even being disliked by only one person—is what sets you into a tizzy. You want to be liked, so you start flipping out at the very concept of anyone not liking you.
You worry about things that aren’t happening, yet you are ironically calm during truly stressful situations. For example, if you’ve been stopped by a State Trooper for going 95MPH, it doesn’t bother you at all. That’s because you’re busy worrying over whether one day you’ll get a tapeworm from eating too much sushi.
It depends on how stressful the situation is. Bad traffic on the way to work? You’ll just text your manager saying you may be a little late, then you relax and blast your radio as the traffic crawls. But then you get fired for coming in late to work even though traffic was bad and you sent that text message you thought would smooth things over? OK, now you’re panicking.
You get wiser and wiser over the course of your life. Things that would have set you into a full-blown conniption ten years ago just roll off your back these days. Ten years from now, someone could call you and tell your house is on fire and you’d just say, “OK, then put some water on it and let me know how it goes.”
You bear the eternal wisdom of a cat lounging on a windowsill, staring at the world and slowly squinting as she takes it all in. You take a balanced, meditative approach to even the most alarming circumstances. You have the patience of Job and the fortitude of Gandhi, and you’re so charming you’d have both of them fighting over the right to be your boyfriend.
Lady, you are one cool cucumber. You realize that panicking only adds a second problem. If you blow a tire on a dark and lonely road, you know in your cells that freaking out about it will only make things worse. You weren’t exactly in the mood to change a tire, but there’s no use torturing yourself over that, either. Just change it and hit the road again.
You are the eye of the hurricane. The calm before and after everyone else’s storm. A rock that stands still and bold despite the battering winds. An anvil that will wear out many a hammer. No matter what life throws at you, you never panic.