In our country, summer is VERY hot. Temperatures can soar to a scorching 40 degrees Centigrade, that's 104 degrees Fahrenheit. My part of the country is a little bit cooler, reaching only 30°C/86°F on the hottest days. However, that's still quite warm. As a result, keeping cool is very important.
Here, most places are air conditioned. Yet, this creates its own problems. People like to turn the thermostat down low. Often, the temperature is SO low that I need to wear a sweater! Can you imagine? At the height of summer, I am so cold that I have to dress as if winter had arrived!
It seems that everywhere you turn, there's another product designed to keep you cooler. Everyone you talk to has some tried-and-tested advice on how to help you beat the heat – even my yoga teacher. He taught us a breathing technique that's supposed to cool you down. Basically, you inhale through your mouth with your tongue curled and mouth open. Then, you hold your breath for a few seconds, swallow, and exhale through your nose. If you try it, you'll see that the inhaled air on your curled tongue feels cool. When you swallow, some of that coolness gets transferred to your palate. Does this technique work?
A few weeks ago, I was stuck in traffic. In order to reduce the chances of my old car overheating, I closed the air conditioning and opened the windows – in rushed the hot wind. Now, not only was I heated up by the outside air, I was also getting burned up by stress. What to do?
This breathing technique, of course. I calmed down and started breathing. After about 10 breaths, I began to feel cooler. Psychological? Could be. All I know is that it worked. I felt better, and the prospect of being late didn't seem so terrible.
What's nice about this breathing technique is that it's available anytime, anywhere. That's good because keeping one's cool is always important.
Before we continue, let's take a moment to look at the language. In summer, we try to keep cool. This means we want to feel less hot physically. It is important to always keep one's cool. Here, we are speaking about remaining calm and not getting angry or stressed. Notice the addition of the possessive pronoun in the second sentence. That is because we are speaking about a person and not a general situation.
However, I digress...
Keeping one's cool is often very challenging. It is far easier to let our emotions take over. So, is keeping one's cool worth the effort?
My opinion is a resounding “YES”! This doesn't mean that I never get angry. It does mean that even in the face of anger, I am usually calm and soft-spoken. This doesn't mean that I never shout or blow up in someone's face. It does mean that I am always in control. All my actions are by choice, not impulse. Even when I am shouting, I am thinking about what I am saying, how I am acting. I don't say or do things which I regret later.
The next time you are in a difficult situation, consider keeping your cool. It may help to remember that keeping one's cool, especially at work or at home, goes a long way to maintaining your good reputation. In addition, it earns you respect.