A simple way to stop wallowing and feel better

So, this week, I failed.

I wanted something, I went for it, spent valuable time pursuing it, felt it was right – perfect for me even.

I didn’t get it.  I wasn’t even close.

It’s been a bumpy week going through all the emotions on the change curve: Shock (“No way, this was meant for me” – Tuesday); Denial (“There must be some mistake; maybe they got my email address wrong” – Wednesday); Anger (So.Much.Anger… – Thursday).

And Friday – Acceptance (breathes out) and Moving On (“Thank you so much for the opportunity…”).

I’ve been rinsed, spun and left creased and limp once again by the realisation that, just because I want something, it doesn’t mean I am going to get it. That, surprisingly, even after all these years, I still don’t have control over what happens (and believe me, I’ve tried).

I think many of us are feeling this way at the moment, perhaps more keenly than ever before, maybe even much of the time.

In this space it’s so easy to feel exhausted, helpless and down; to ruminate, worry; become bitter, moany, unproductive.

It’s important to acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, of course; perhaps even give into them for a while and allow ourselves to wallow and rest if we can.

But it’s also important to know how to move on.  Before we build a mind maze with walls too high to climb; too deep and strong to break through; until it pens us in, blocks our view and keeps us circling for too long.

My gran’s generation didn’t believe in wallowing.  There wasn’t the time.  She would have been told to “Snap out of it”, or “There are plenty who are worse off than you” or any of the hundred other things people told themselves back then so they could “buck up” and get on with it.

My modern-day suggestion is to ask yourself: “What’s good?”

What’s good”?   Two simple words to pivot on and find your way back.

Your brain can’t help but respond.  It will immediately stop circling and start searching for things you can be glad about, grateful for, move towards.  You will feel happier, stronger, lighter, more creative.

Try it for yourself the next time you read the news or your friends’ despairing posts on social media – notice where your eyes go and feel the instant difference it makes.  Then move forwards.

So – what’s good?

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