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A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about the Five Minute Rule. I learned about the rule while listening to a podcast a few months ago, and have TRIED to follow it in my everyday life. Key word: tried. Honestly, it’s super hard! It’s doable when dealing with minor to moderate annoyances, but following the rule when things make you really upset is so much more difficult. In the past few weeks, I can think of at least two times when something made me REALLY upset and it simmered for days. I felt twice as bad, first because I was angry and also because I was feeling guilty for feeling angry for more than five minutes! I know that nothing is worth being upset over for days, but sometimes I feel like I can’t help it.

That being said, I felt like maybe it’d be good to actually think about the strategies that I use to get over things that upset me, instead of just repeatedly thinking to myself, “don’t be mad.” It’s easy to say get over it, but it’s hard to say how. These are patterns of thinking that I’ve developed over the years. It’s so much easier to give these suggestions than it is to apply them in the heat of them moment, but here they are anyways:

  • Ask yourself: Will this matter in 1 year? It most likely won’t, and then you will realize that you may have been overreacting.
  • Try to see the silver lining: “Yes, this is bad, but …”
  • Alternatively, think of ways that your situation could be worse: “At least xyz didn’t happen…"
  • Think of the big picture - so many of our problems are incredibly unimportant, and in reality not as big of a deal as you think they are. Yes, you may have dropped your iPhone and cracked your screen, but there are people living in this world without food, without water, without shelter and safety. There are people living in war zones right now, fearing for their lives every minute of the day. If you feel yourself overreacting, get up, go to the bathroom, and flush the toilet. You don’t have to use it - just flush it. Then remind yourself that 30% of the 7 billion people in the world can’t do that. Hopefully that makes you feel better.

Every minute you spend angry or upset is a minute you’ll never get back. I’d love to hear how you help yourself get over things that put you in a sour mood!