Get over it – Happy again in 2 days
I have a little rule that I apply to all different kinds of situations in my life: it is the 2-day-rule of being upset about something. Every once in a while something happens in your life that upsets you; could be bad feedback at work, in my case often bad ratings and reviews of my scientific articles and mean reviewer comments (which usually causes a lot of extra work), projects that did not work out or results that were not as expected, breaking my favorite coffee cup because I dropped it on the floor (OK, this is not so bad, but still very emotional), but also things like breakups & so on… whatever upsets you. OK, let us take really bad things like death and severe trauma out of this equation – this would be exceptional cases.
What does it mean?
The 2-day-rule means that whatever it is that made you upset, you have to move on after two days. It is OK to hide under the pillow for these 48 hours, it is OK to cry, to scream, to hate everything and everyone, to rant about quitting the job, and giving up on everything. BUT after two days, you get your shit together and you get back at it. No more complaints.
The reason why I came up with this rule is the following: in most cases, you cannot change what happened. You can just do it better the next time.
I give you one example – OK, a bit dramatic – your boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with you or cheated on you. You are devastated. And at this point, you have to realize this one thing: what happened cannot become undone. The thing is over. It makes no difference if you are upset and mourning for two days, 2 weeks, or two months. The outcome stays the same: what happened was shit and you have to move on. Why wasting the time of your life on something you cannot change anymore? Why prolonging the state of not being happy? You might say ‘but I cannot get over it so fast, I am hurt’. Sure you are and you won’t be able to completely blank the whole thing out. But you can put your head up and look forward. The mindset is key. You will for sure think about it again, maybe even allow some tears to run over your cheek when you sit home alone. And this is OK. However, the bad experience must not keep you from being a happy person again; a person that enjoys life and is looking forward to what is coming next. You evolve and things will get better.
Another example: You received a bad grade for your last essay in school/a bad review from an editor/negative feedback from your boss for your last work project… You basically have to do it all over again, after you already put so much effort and time in this work. I know how that feels. I know how it feels when you read through the comments and you cannot stop saying ‘F*** that shit, I quit!’ in your head. Your motivation to do anything goes to -1000. Let it go down to -1000. It is OK. Grab your bag, go to the next bar, or home in your bed, whatever pleases you at that point. But after two days you will get your ass up and do what needs to be done. There is no way around it anyway, but you used these two days to celebrate the demotivation. Now it is time to get back to life.
To sum this up
Do not let a bad experience tear you down forever. For me these are two days, eventually, you will find out that you need three or four days for this. This is totally fine. Just remember: if you cannot change the outcome of an upsetting event, why should it keep you from your own happiness longer than necessary?
Strive for being stronger than you have been before. Strive for being happy again!