Why do we hate being in a bad mood so much? Perhaps because it feels good to feel good and it feels bad to feel bad! Not to mention from an evolutionary standpoint, the purpose of our existence is to ensure the survival of our species, so we are hardwired to seek anything that will assist in our survival (often that which feels good) and avoid anything that might threaten it (often that which feels bad).
It makes sense then that when unpleasant emotions arise, our instinct is to reject and suppress them. The problem with this approach is that it usually tends to make matters worse. We start spiraling down the rabbit hole where we get trapped in a vicious cycle of the unpleasant emotion fueling incessant thinking fueling the unpleasant emotion further. Our fight-or-flight response is then triggered in the process, preventing us from making effective decisions and negatively impacting everyone around us. Someone then tells us to just ‘get over it’ which infuriates us even more!
From our experience thus far, we’ve found it impossible to sustainably switch an emotion off (if you’ve discovered a way, please let us know). We’ve also found it impossible to change the past (if you’ve discovered a way, DEFINITELY let us know). What we have found, however, is that how we respond in the present does in fact have every potential to affect how we feel in the future. Here is a guide to help you ‘get over it’ the next time you are stuck in a rut:
- Accept that everything in this moment is exactly as it’s supposed to be simply because it’s happening right now in this moment. There is nothing wrong…. it is what it is.
- If you are up for it, whole-heartedly embrace or choose to have the experience you are having. We call it radical acceptance because it really does seem radical, right? Try it though, it’s pretty damn empowering!
- Observe the emotions as mere physical sensations in your body that are transient and will soon pass. Realise that they are not you and therefore don’t define who you are!
- Take an action that is completely different to what you would usually say or do in a similar scenario. This helps to break the cycle (let’s face it… you’ve been here before and the future is somewhat predictable).