BRENT STOLLER

Writer. Advice giver. Peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast.

This Simple Trick Will Keep You Calm

“Will I remember this five minutes from now?”

I was on my morning commute, having just merged across three lanes to reach my exit — a task made more difficult by a silver Honda that had refused to let me over.

Exasperation mingled with indignation to concoct a cocktail of irritation that consumed my chest.

I’ve been working hard on not taking such incidences so personally. But I have a long way to go. And clearly, I wasn’t getting there today.

Since the right side of brain was tuned out, I figured I’d appeal to the left.

Which is why I asked myself the question above.

And the answer was evident.

If I hadn’t made note of the experience so I could write about it here, its memory would’ve evaporated into the atmosphere, along with the rest of the countless inconsequential instances that dot my day.

And it probably would’ve taken far less than five minutes to do so.

So why was I so worked up about it?

Especially because, while the details of the incident would’ve disappeared, the frustration attached to it would have lingered, cloaking my mood in a veil of negativity.

A quick analysis revealed the obvious: All cost, no benefit.

It was time for me to move on.

Pushing this logic forward, this is not to say you should ignore your feelings. You shouldn’t.

In order to heal, you have to feel. “Serenity now!” leads to insanity later.

But you only have so much time and so much emotional endurance.

And taking a beat to assess a situation for what it is helps put things in perspective, so you can spend that capital wisely.

No matter how infuriating an experience is, the sooner you can let it be, the sooner you can let it go.

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