You slept badly, or you had a horrible meeting at work, or it’s just freeeeezing and we just feel fed up with things that are totally beyond our control. We all have those moments. Simply learning to “be happy” isn’t enough, we have to learn to cope on the days when life is just a little bit rubbish.
This is officially one of the most depressing periods of the year, and the number of cases of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) cases skyrockets. But that doesn’t mean to say you can’t manage the way you respond to the blues.
Sometimes we can’t control what happens, but we can control our reaction to it. Before you reach for the chocolate biscuits, or want to EXPLODE WITH RAGE — take a deep breath. Breathe in for a count of four… 1, 2, 3, 4, pause and hold the breath, and then breathe out 1, 2, 3, 4. Repeat this for a couple of minutes, and until you feel calmer.
Now you’re thinking more clearly, and using your logical cortex brain rather than your “cave woman” limbic brain you’ll make better decisions.
Now ask yourself what three actions can you take to find a way out of this situation? Who can you call or email to help you? What can you do to put it right?
Taking action makes you feel better, and you might even solve the issue pretty quickly now that you’re calm and in control.
If it’s still not working, think about what you can do instead… Even if that means listening to an audio book while you wait for someone to fix your broken down car, or journaling. That way, if you stay calm, you can come away from the experience having learned something and having gained something — rather than just moaning about it on Facebook and to your colleagues.
How can you learn from this “failure” and use it as a springboard to leap forward professionally and personally? Sometimes failing at an exam or the oven breaking can be the momentum we need to change the way that we cook or study or think…
When the dust has settled, ask yourself what could you have done differently? What steps can you take now to ensure it doesn’t happen again? You may not be able to control the situation, but you can control your response to the situation… How could you handle you response better and more effectively in the future?