We've all been there. Something happens at work / at home that sends your mood in a downward spiral - maybe it is a rough reorg, maybe a fight with your partner on some trigger issue, maybe a tiring day fielding off an irate customer . Negative emotions like anger, "why me", helplessness rise to the surface and you feel like you are in a fog you can't get out of. Motivation, energy are all at an all-time low ,and walking away from the situation , escaping sounds good :) What do you do? How do you get your mojo back? Here's what has worked for me in the past.
It's all relative. Ask yourself what level of defcon is this?
In 2012, the husband and I went backpacking in Europe. Thinking back it was the trip of a lifetime - but it wasn't without its shocks and surprises. On our last day in Amsterdam (Amsterdam was the 1st spot we visited) , we had a squabble about something inconsequential (honestly, can't even remember what it was about :) , jeez! ) We decided to head out to Brussels next and took the Euro-rail. The remnants of the squabble formed a dark cloud over our heads. However, in Rotterdam, we discovered our bag was missing and with it.. wait for it.. all of our travel documentation! The squabble was forgotten in an instant - poof! kaput! - and in its place a joint determination to deal with the robbery and support each other as we made numerous rounds to a police station and embassy(s). That incident strangely enough brought us closer together. The squabble paled in comparison to losing out documentation and we thought to ourselves "can't even believe we fought about this ...". It's all relative. That's the key takeaway here. Whatever happened, ask yourself, is this defcon 1?
For many situations, you will walk away with the realization that what is happening , this 'bad situation' doesn't really matter in the large scheme of things.
This realization while not curing you of your negative emotions in totality, will help you feel lighter about it. This too shall pass, you will think to yourself and so it shall.
$hit happens, now what? How do I get back my mojo?
Ok, you've asked yourself how critical the problem you are going through is and established that. That still doesn't take away your negative feelings completely. You are still feeling 'blah'. You are still languishing. How to get out of this? I was reading Cal Newport's Deep Work recently and he narrates a story about a lady who was diagnosed with cancer. She went through a very tough period in her life with the treatment. However, she noticed that on days she focused on small activities that brought her joy - her afternoon walk, her evening glass of wine, coffee with friends - she was relatively happy, her spirits were up.
I went through a similar observation 5 years ago when my mom passed away. My mom was my best friend, my biggest support and it was devastating losing her, to say the least. But piercing through the fog of grief, that blanket of sadness was being with my 5-month-old. My dad and I mourned, yes but we also laughed and smiled at my son's antics and day-to-day activities.
When $hit happens and you feel bad, you need to tell yourself "I know this too shall pass, what can I focus on NOW that will make TODAY better ". Then, identify some small wins, some small moments of joy and focus on them.
You will hopefully be over whatever is bothering you in no time and recover your mojo.
That's it for today's post. Does this resonate with you? What do you do to minimize negative emotions?