I open this post with a caveat, the tips below are great if you are ready to stop dwelling but are finding it difficult to move on. If on the other hand, you’re currently enjoying spending time in the ‘pit‘ (and sometimes you will want to and that is OK) leave this post alone, until you really want to move forward, it will only annoy you otherwise.
1. Acknowledge your disappointment
Has someone not lived up to your expectations or is it yourself that you feel disappointed with?
Pretending that the negative feeling isn’t there, only causes increasing emotional stress, which always leads to physical tension, this is why acknowledging your feelings is so important.
2. Get Quiet for 10 minutes
- Take five minutes and focus on your breath – try some 7/11 breathing
- Take five minutes and find as many things as you can, to be thankful for.
If you find it difficult at first – go back to basics. Be thankful that you’re breathing, for the chair that you’re sitting on, the roof over your head and so on. Often, when we are dwelling on a disappointment, it can feel as though the mind is on a merry-go-round, racing from one negative or self-defeating thought to another. By consciously choosing to bring your attention to your breathing and finding things to be grateful for, you give yourself the opportunity to slow the merry-go-round down. This provides both your mind and body with a welcome break, as you become emotionally more calm and any tension you have been holding physically begins to subside too.
3. Decide whether there is anything within your control that you can do
- If you can improve the situation, take the relevant action and then let it be.
- If things are beyond your sphere of influence, acknowledge your feelings and the situation and then choose to let it go.
Hindsight can be both beautiful and frustrating in equal measures. Sometimes accepting that you could have done things differently and expressing this to the relevant party can be be very liberating. However, sometimes you find yourself in the situation where you are longing for somebody else’s actions to be different. If having a constructive conversation about your feelings has come to a dead end or is just not appropriate; acknowledging that the situation is beyond your personal control, is key to being able to accept what has happened and then move forward.
4. Go outside get some fresh air
It’s simple but effective – it gets your endorphins (your feel good hormones) and that makes you feel better.
5. Play one of your favourite pieces of music – preferably upbeat and very loud
Physiologically, it has the same effect as going out for a walk, but emotionally, it takes you to a place where you smiled, maybe danced and definitely felt good.
6. Think about the rest of the day ahead or the following day and set your intention.
Think about everything you will do from the minute you wake up in the morning and go to have your breakfast, to when you go to bed and visualize how you would like the day to pan out…This doesn’t have to take a long time.
Where the mind goes the body tends to follow and by spending time thinking and seeing your day ahead in detail and colour the way you want things to be; it’s almost like creating a map for your mind to follow. So, should you find yourself straying away from the path that you have set, the mere action of the previously visualizing your day and setting your intention, enables you to get back on track much more easily.
7. If you find yourself dipping at any point, repeat as many of the steps above as possible.
Easy to write, not always that easy to do, but it definitely works and the more you practice these steps, the easier it becomes to move on. It is important to say that should you be working through a disappointment that runs very deep, that you might want to seek professional help, but for day to day issues these tools will set you on your way.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rheinitz/