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Think You Can Rant Away Your Bad Day? Think Again

photo copy 12It’s been the kind of week in which I feel like shaving my head, or running away to the woods, or maybe just sitting down with Facebook and typing out my frustration so that everyone knows exactly how much I’ve suffered. Illness! Crying babies! Injury! Sleep deprivation! Then I can let it go and bask in the sympathy of all my friends who “like” or comment on my status update. I can find some relief from the pressure of all the discouragement and frustration and powerlessness that I feel. And then it will be done. I’ll feel better.

Right?

Hmmm . . . not so much. It’s true that ranting does bring a sense of relief. There is a release, an unburdening that leaves you feeling lighter and less downtrodden. But only briefly, only for a moment. And then, when that relief has played out, all you’re left with are those negative feelings you’ve been nurturing and developing and dwelling on and giving life to.

And you’ve grown attached to them. Oops.

So, what to do? How to deal? Because life is unfair, and frustrating, and discouraging, and tiring. You can’t just ignore it, can you? Maybe not, but you can figure out what it is that is actually bothering you.

Frustrated that you’ve been cried at all day? Pick up that baby and make her laugh.

Impatient with the old lady in the grocery store who badgered you about how you were handling your children? Cry it out and remind yourself that you are doing the best you can, even if she can’t see it.

Take action. Take control. Ask for help. Call your best friend. Laugh about old times. Or laugh about these times. Find the funny in the frustration, the meaning in the mundane.

Or maybe, if you can’t think of anything else to do, smile. Trick your mind and body into feeling something positive. Then grab onto those feelings and don’t let go.

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