Sometimes when you’ve had an awful day, you just need a BFF date… or ranting session to make it all better. Misery loves company, right? It turns out how you choose to cope with the not-so-great news in your life can impact your ability to bounce back from the negative. Alison Ledgerwood, a social psychologist at UC Davis, says that once you think about something as a loss, it tends to stick in your head and resist your attempts to change it. That means it’s harder for our minds to see the upside.
Instead of grumbling about the stupid traffic jam or the negative feedback you received at work, which can actually make you feel worse, Ledgerwood recommends rehearsing good news and sharing it with others. This small change can slowly train your mind to process information from a more positive perspective and help you recover from bad news faster.
If you’re trying to put yourself in a better place to deal with negative comments, the first step is thinking about other identities, such as your connection to your family, your gorgeous skin or an awesome hobby that you enjoy. “Thinking about that other aspect of your life that feels important to you and a time when you felt like you excelled at that can help buffer you against negative comments in another area,” says Ledgerwood.
Hold onto the good stuff by journaling about things that you are grateful or thankful for. Noticing the moments when you feel happy can make it easier to pay more attention to them.
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(Photos via John Moore, Rob Stothard/Getty Images)