Learning to let things go. Stop stewing and regain your peace

Aug 1, 2018 | Mental Health, Self Care

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So I’m stewing. For all those who may not know what this means, it means that I am upset and instead of confronting the issue or the person head on, I am ruminating.

Just to give you an example of how bad that is. I went to sleep angry and woke up and thought to myself “I was angry about something last night” I still felt tension and heaviness in my head.

Then I remembered, (queue light bulb) and I got angry all over again at 5:30 am 🙁

So I’m here writing to get it out or I will let it literally ruin my whole day.

I’ll be thinking about it constantly, thinking about the best way to confront the person or what they meant when they said this or did that then eventually I’ll get so worked up that I’ll get even angrier.

This is where old me would send a passive-aggressive text or completely go off on the person without warning, keep in mind they don’t know I’m angry.

(I’m stewing and haven’t confronted the issue, essentially making myself more angry to set myself up for an explosion).

It’s like preparing for a battle the other person is unaware of, they may suspect that I’m angry but they really have no idea.

So let me start by saying of course as you can see I’m no expert in this arena but I have gotten a lot better. No more angry texts, no more explosions but I still have work to do. I want to share with you some ways that have helped me over the years to stop with this torturous cycle (because in reality, it is really hurting me the most-I’m the one stewing).

 

Just Let it Out(But in Right Timing)

 

I’ve learned that the more I think about things the bigger a deal they become, especially when sometimes a simple conversation could have resolved the issue.

So to me, it’s always best to just let the person know what is going on.

Now, this is where it gets a little tricky. You want to make sure you are coming to the person with a level head; otherwise, you may let your emotions get the best of you.

And I don’t know about you but when I’m pissed I can’t communicate or listen effectively.

When I’m pissed all I want is the person to know I’m pissed, this is why and you need to understand how I feel and I really don’t care what you have to say.

But sometimes I need to take a little break for myself and say to myself “Why are you really mad?”, “What’s really going on?”,” What could be their perspective on this?”.

I need to take a time out for myself and really gather my thoughts and calm down.

Not too much time though or I’ll start ruminating and making things worst.

Once I feel like I’m level headed enough to confront the person I do. I attempt to stay as calm as possible and make no accusatory statements, just explain how I feel by using I statements.

Simply a “When you do this, I feel statement X).

Once I let the person know how I feel I try my best to listen and understand their point of view(no interrupting, no but statements, I just listen) and try to work towards a solution.

Do something Productive

 

Sometimes I don’t want to confront the person (it may not be an “us” problem but a me problem).

And in that case to avoid my thoughts going to never-never land I do something productive, hence why I’m writing.

It allows me to focus on something else productive rather than letting my thoughts take the wheel.

So for me, that’s writing, journaling, walking, exercising, whatever I feel will be the most effective at the moment.

That may look different for you.

At one point I liked to beat up my old bike to get my anger out(while I don’t recommend beating things up it worked for me at that time).

Some other suggestions would be painting, go-cart racing (idk why I added this the thrill seems like it would get your mind off things), going to a movie, whatever.

Do something that makes you happy or better yet do something for someone else.

Sometimes getting myself out of my head means volunteering for someone that really needs help(dogs are people too).

It makes me happy to help another person, makes me grateful for what I have and really puts things in perspective.

I’ll begin to think ”Is this thing really that big? Or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?”

This really allows me to take a step back and see things clearly. I had a teacher once say that doing something with your hands (cleaning, gardening, crafting) is the best way to get out of a funk. Random, but it works.

Talk to Someone

 

I’m an extremely private person so this one is sometimes a struggle for me but talking to one or two people you trust can help the situation.

Not the whole world!

Too many cooks in the kitchen and you can’t think properly.

Regardless of any advice that someone gives you know that what you choose is up to you.

You make your own decisions.

Be sure to let them know your intentions. Sometimes I’m angry and just want to vent and sometimes I want advice.

Let them know what you want from them at that moment. Sometimes just venting is enough.

Other times you may want someone wiser to give some advice or their perspective (thanks mom).

And maybe you might consider therapy, just another option. Sometimes just talking to a friend, in general, is helpful to get your mind off things.

My point is ANYTHING is better sometimes than keeping it to yourself. Because if you’re anything like me this simple stewing will cause you to get so lost in your thoughts that you can’t think clearly.

And that can lead a little annoyance to the deep end(i.e. wondering why this person is so horrible, seeing only the bad).

 

 

So there are my simple steps to get out of your head and fixing the problem a.s.a.p. so it doesn’t become a big problem and you can have your peace of mind sooner.

Nothing ruins a day other than replaying something negative in your head all day. So I would love to hear from you, what are some of the things that you do that helps or if you found any of this helpful let me know!