1. Don’t ruminate.
Rumination, from the Latin for “chew the cud,” is the human tendency to go over and over things, often unpleasant things from the past. For example, say you have a personal confrontation at work. You might end up thinking about it all day, rolling it over and over in your head and imagining having dealt with it in different ways.
In most situations, this is productive, because it stimulates learning. With insight gained from rumination, next time you might behave differently and avoid a conflict. This is true only if you have agency over the thing you’re ruminating about, however. If you have no control over an event—such as the outcome of an election—no amount of rumination can help you. It can only lower your happiness further.
2. Don’t personalize the loss.
One of my idle pleasures is watching “La Liga”—the Spanish soccer league, arguably the highest-level soccer in the world. My favorite team…