Image via NBC.
So I’ve always read with a kind of bemused interest when people talk about their “daily mantras“, until I found my own, in the most unlikely of places – a Seinfeld episode.
Bear with me.
It was one of those days where things just hadn’t gone my way. I’d stepped out the door and been soaked by the rain, misplaced my train ticket, missed the train, forgotten my lunch which I’d gotten up early to make… you get the picture.
Getting home, I was just ready to go to bed and sleep it off. I turned on the TV, looked for something mindless and decided on Seinfeld – a show that I wouldn’t call myself a fan of, but had watched a few times. (Post continues after gallery.)
It was the episode called ‘Serenity Now’, where George’s dad is given a relaxation tape by his doctor, which advises him to say the phrase “Serenity Now” whenever his blood pressure gets too high, to calm him down.
The only problem? Rather than saying the words softly and calmingly, he screams them out.
After hearing about it, Kramer decides he’ll try the relaxation method too, saying it in a calmer state with the addition of shimmery hands.
“The anger just melts right off, serenity now, serenity now,” he tells Jerry.
I laughed along, turned it off and went to sleep.
A week later, I got a frustrating email that something I had been looking forward to for a long time had been cancelled. Getting ready to send back a snarky response, I found myself saying ‘Serenity now’. Out loud.
Once the feeling of immediate embarrassment had died down (and I'd checked to see that no-one had actually heard me) I realised that I genuinely did feel a little calmer.