Are you the one that's always late? Someone recently told me that stress causes her to chronically be late. She then asked how she should stop. The short answer is stop doing it. I'm not trying to make fun or make light of it, but seriously make the choice to stop being late.
When we break it down and examine it closer, the stress is most likely caused by the anticipation of travel and what might occur, which in turn is causing distraction and delay. Which then causes rushing around, which then causes the stress. It's a vicious cycle. One which is frustrating for both parties - you, and the people who seemingly are always waiting for you. So when you arrive, you're not fully present. You're not connected with the people because you feel bad about being late. Oh, and the rushing and speeding to try and arrive on time...That's a dangerous game in itself. According to the National Safety Council, an estimated 40,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2018.
As we take a closer look at that vicious cycle, ask yourself, What am I in control of? Simple answer. YOU. What are you not in control of? The traffic, the "what might occur." What is going to happen at the meeting. If social situations in general make you nervous and cause you stress, I encourage you to examine it further with a professional who can really help with that.
So I offer you the solution of time. Since you are in control of everything you do right up until you hit the highway, build in extra time. Ask yourself, why are you becoming stressed about going to whatever the event is or the meeting? What is that stress about? Are you generally nervous in social situations? It is important for you to identify so you can choose a different response to the stress.
For example, perhaps you are stressed out because you have to go out and be social. Social situations stress me out. What about social situations stress you out? Upon closer examination you realize you don't like crowds. So what can you do? You can choose to be a hermit, which I do not recommend. Or you can do a simple 3 step exercise to bring your stress level down.
(1) Detach, (2) prioritize and (3) execute. First, detach yourself from the thing causing you to feel stressed. In the example, being in a crowd. The easiest thing to do is to take a few deep breaths. It will bring your heart rate down and create a calming effect. Second, prioritize. Ask, what's the next thing I need to do? Whether it's step up to meet somebody, or introduce yourself to someone. Take that step and go do it. Chances are the person is not going to bite your head off. Remember, our fight or flight is an ancient response built into us to protect us from danger, ie. the saber tooth tiger. In general, meeting someone is not a dangerous situation, so recognize that you're good to go. Finally, execute. Say hello. Shake that hand. The more you do it the easier it will be.
So right now decide to stop being late. Decide that all that anticipation and those "what if's" you create in your mind which cause you stress are simply not in your control. You have full control over your self, your thoughts, and your ability to stop creating situations that simply do not exist. Practice detach, prioritize, and execute and I promise you'll live a lot happier.
If you want to build on this, or you'd like me to expand on it, just comment below.