How do we stop dwelling on these awful moments when we cease to be productive?
1. Admit to yourself that you’re thinking too much.
After all, you can’t solve a problem if you don’t first recognize that you have one. Do you immediately feel affected by criticism? Are you sensitive to unsolicited advice from well-meaning friends or family members? Are you in the habit of ruminating on past failures? Acknowledging your emotions is the first step toward taking control of them.
2. Distract yourself.
If you find yourself ruminating needlessly over a bad breakup, ask friends to go for an afternoon coffee. Immerse yourself in a hobby. Taking up activities such as sports, art, or crafting is a great way to take your mind off something negative.
The reason I got lost in the woods in the first place was that I was trying to clear my head after an argument with my mother. After the short excursion, I felt better equipped to deal with the situation.
3. Think about possible solutions to your problem.
Remember the doctor Robin Williams met in Patch Adams? He told Patch to “look past the problem." Often, we as humans like to blow things out of proportion, just to make things sensational. Try to be as objective as possible — even if you still feel awful about the particular memory.
For example, if you're recovering from the loss of a loved one, consider activities that make you happy and keep you busy, to help yourself avoid wallowing.
4. Be gentle with yourself.
It sounds simple enough, but you’d be surprised how much more critical you are toward yourself than toward others. Confidence is key to success, but often a small setback is enough to destroy whatever self-worth you may have had. Again, try not to give too much credence to one or two perceived "failures." Believe in your ability to succeed again. Keep moving forward.
5. Know that it will take time.
It's not about forgetting the bad things that have happened. It’s all about learning to accept that there are things we can't control and focusing on the things we do control. It won't always hurt. You will make it through. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and you'll get there.
by Cris Antonio