When life craps on you. Let it go.

Don’t stand looking at the big pile of crap.  Move on

We’ve all been here.

Work took a serious nose dive at the weekend, one years work, plummeting before my eyes.

4 days in:

Tiredness; verging on exhaustion

Motivation; gone

Mood; irritable, stressed

Relationship; volatile

 

How did I get here and what shall I do about it.

Work backwards.

One years work took a nose-dive, so how did I get from that fact, to the stressed, depressed frenzy over the weekend?  Answer:  I analyzed it, like a dog with a bone, and general name calling of myself.

Go backwards in more detail

Work took a nose dive.

Mistake number 1.

Stayed up most of the night trying to solve the problem.  Resulting in tiredness the next day.

Mistake number 2.

Dog with a bone analysis of all possible reasons for the problem.

Mistake number 3

Took the analysis further into the future with my imagination, going over the worse case scenarios – at length and in detail.

Mistake number 4

In bed, going over the mistakes above.

Wake up more tired

Mistake number 5

Why am I doing this?  I’m no good at this?  I was kidding myself that I could do this.  I’m crap at my job, etc.

Mistake number 6

Talk at length about all of the above, with my partner, resulting in much worse feelings than before, as now tired and emotional!

Grumpy, hypersensitive and petty arguments follow.

 

How to avoid moving swiftly from one incident to “I’m crap at everything, and my life is a mess” mode.

Go backwards again, look for vulnerability factors and things that could have been done differently.

Original incident:  Work problem.  Okay, it was a pretty bad blow, but I cannot change it.  I am sure you have heard of “acceptance” and maybe pulled a face at it – but face pull not, it has serious merits.

If I had accepted what had happened, there would have been no need to progress down the chain to self loathing, my life is over mode.

I would have seen the problem as something that I cannot change (as I cannot go back into the past and make things suit me).  I would have notched it up to “one of those things,” and problem solved and opposed to creating a separate problem of exhaustion and stress.

Vulnerability factors.

Lack of sleep:  waking up tired meant I had less resources than normal to deal with the day ahead, so molehills became mountains.

Discussing it at length with partner.  I would not have done this, as discussing it did not change the fact that the problem had occurred and that I might have lost a years work.  Running through all the “what if’s?” with my partner only caused stress and tension.

When life throws crap at you, as it sometimes does, a better way to deal with it, is just accept it and move on.  If the problem can be fixed, spend some of that time and energy usually reserved for analyzing why it happened in the first place, solving the problem.

If the problem cannot be solved, suck it up.  And move on.  Why me? does not help, it just makes you feel worse and prolongs the impact that the problem has on you.

When life craps on you, don’t add to it with your own stuff in your head.  Accept it, let it go, and move on :)

If you have any tips on what you do, when life dumps on you from a great height, please leave a comment below.

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About Elaine Ryan

Elaine Ryan is the author and owner of MoodSmith.com.

She is a Doctor of Psychology and lives with her partner Lewis
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MoodSmith has developed an online treatment program for anxiety based on scientific methods

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Comments

  1. Tony Phillips says:

    This is good advise, and I wish I could have done that years ago when all of my anxiety issues started. I know I have dealt with anxiety all of my life, but it was during a time of upheaval that my anxiety/panic issues went out of control, or at least, out of my perceived control. Lost a job, relative passed away and ran into marriage problems I had not known were there, it just spiraled. So, for 17 years, I have been on medications, tried to pull myself up by my boot straps and just keep going. Now, it has become a deep rooted problem for me and I fear I will live with it forever.

    • Don’t give up hope, there’s new research every day. I was watching a program just yesterday about research on the different types of bacteria in the gut. Their findings suggest that different types of bacteria (or lack of) may be why some people experience stress and anxiety. The research is very new. I am looking into it more and will post about it here.

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