The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Are your 12 minutes over yet?

I read somewhere, that real emotional pain lasts a maximum of 12 minutes, any more than that is self-inflicted. It got me thinking of all the time I’ve wasted, all that pain all these years. And all self-inflicted(Believe me, I know self inflicted pain.  I am the master of it)!

The theory has a point. Coz come on, do we really need to replay that moment of anguish over and over again in our heads? Talk it over countless times with friends who are probably sick of hearing the story more times than they can remember? I like the idea of the 12 minute rule. Agony limited to a specific number of time, and afterward, cleaning up the mess.

I’ve been told a number of times that I think things over too much. I worry over the littlest things. And it’s aged me, aged me badly. Made me into an annoying simpering sap who I can hardly recognize when I look at myself in the mirror. Once the strongest person in a funeral, I now weep at little jabs of friends, cry at little spats with a loved one.

A little misunderstanding I’d obsess over, thinking what I should’ve said, what I should’ve done. What good can come from that? Can i go back in time and say the right thing? No. Can I change what i did? Most definitely not.

So what to do when tempted to wallow in things we don’t really have control over?

1. Distract yourself with happy thoughts.

I know it sounds like something Peter Pan might say, but whether it be that new shoe you bought, or that nice thing someone said about you today, it can help. Focus on that happy thought.

2. Resolve not to think about the person that makes you depressed.

Usually, sadness is connected to a specific person. When you start to think about this person, you remember how bad they made you feel, thus, the wallowing begins. Stop. Use tip#1. Banish the person from your mind. If someone brings that person up, change the subject, or even make an excuse to leave the conversation, just find a way to get that person out.

3. Keep yourself busy.

Whether it be work, or a hobby, or just reading books or having dvd marathons, time occupied is time not spent agonizing over a moment you’d rather take back. I recommend working. It helps you twice over. You get better at your job, and you keep yourself from regressing into depression.

4. Start something new.

Kind of like tip#3, if you can’t keep yourself busy with the things on your plate right now, then take up something new.  Learn a new language, how to cook, try horseback riding. A new thing. This will help you obsess over something that might help you be a better person. It’ll definitely make things more interesting, more importantly, keep you occupied.

5. Take a break.

Go on vacation. Or just go to the mall. Or even just troop to your office pantry and breathe. Believe me this does wonders for your sanity. If you feel like those insane thoughts are taking over, go get a breather. It just depends on you how long to take it, and how far you go.

Ok, I’m not saying these are foolproof techniques to get you on your way to happy kingdom. Sometimes you may backpedal. In those cases, that’s what private areas are for. Scream. Bitch. Cry even. Take your little moment and wallow. Try tips #1 to 5 again. Do what you can to release that instance of weakness.

Then go hug your nearest friend. 🙂

2 responses to “Are your 12 minutes over yet?”

  1. This sounds familiar. I remember about 2 years ago (when I was about your age, not like our ages are too far apart lol), I blogged something similar. It’s blogs like this — the one you wrote — that makes me feel I’m not alone in my thoughts, heh. Stay afloat, girlfriend. This phase we’re going through is just that. A phase. 😉 (I hope!!)

  2. I saw the post. 🙂
    No breakup for me, but the thought IS the same.


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