As a child, I would dwell on undesirable events such as major tests in college, dentist visits, certain family functions, and so forth. I use to dread the events the very moment I would wake up in the morning, and think negatively about the event for the entire day and sometime into the next day and beyond… So this following advice is for the benefit of someone who still goes through these emotions and for my kids since I’ve noticed that they display some of the same reactions to such undesirable events as I once did.
Drawing out the Duration:
Now that I’m no longer a child, I’ve come to realize that such behavior is both time and thought waste. To dwell on the what ifs and continue to complain about it is a type of opportunity cost, because such efforts are in vain. The are in vain because that’s wasted energy that could be enjoyed doing other things. In stead of enjoying at least a little of the day, I use to go into such a negative spiral that I was miserable for that entire day! Even when the day might have been filled with some great positives, I would take that one small negative and convert my entire day to a negative.
5 ways to Lessen the Duration:
- If possible, do the event with speed and effectiveness. To do it slowly and draw it out make the negative event take twice as long! So if you have to do a chore do it quickly and be done with it. As I kid I learned this lesson fairly quickly. The same can be said with homework…
- Cap the amount that you let the event affect you. I’ve learned that sometimes I use to make mountains out of mole hills.
- If the event is a mindless boring event, use your mind to escape! I’ve been able to think of some great ideas (and even blogging articles) while in such mind-numbing events.
- Quickly forget the event. If there is no life lesson (like a dentist appointment visit), forget it as quickly as possible! Why dwell on such a worthless thing to think about (brush your teeth after every meal).
- Pepper in some activities before and immediately after the negative event. The activities could be productive activities so that you feel like you accomplished something even though the negative event happened. If you don’t have and productive activities to do, then consider doing cheap positive activities (a walk in the park, a movie and/or dinner, finishing a good book).
View every day as an opportunity to experience or accomplish some positive or at least productive activities.
Readers, we would love to hear if you have any techniques to lessen undesirable events in your life?
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