In my experience, when it comes to solving a problem, few things are more beneficial than time and distance.

Of course, if you have the benefit of allowing yourself the time to fully process, cope, and adjust to something, it’s almost certain that the intensity of the pain from whatever problem you’re facing will fade. And yet, at the same time, time doesn’t always work in our favour; despite the fact that the severity of the hurt does tend to decrease with time, there is nothing that any of us can do to speed up that process.

Although time is a powerful tool in many ways, it does little to offer us assistance during moments of pain or distress. (The assurance that you’ll “get over it eventually” doesn’t do much to ease your suffering when the wound is still fresh.) In such cases, then, when time isn’t able to be as immediately beneficial to us as we would like, we can instead turn our focus to the act of creating distance.

You see, when you’re directly in the midst of a challenging situation, it can be difficult to approach things from a rational perspective. Because we’re often so caught up in the immediacy of the resulting emotions, we aren’t as capable of understanding or coping with the situation as we would ideally like to be. As soon as we allow ourselves to step away from all of that, however, things tend to become more clear.

The creation of distance doesn’t have to be anything dramatic or official, and it doesn’t have to be for very long. Even if it’s only for a short period of time, make an effort to either leave the situation entirely or get far enough away from it that you’ll have the space to breathe. If something as simple as taking a few minutes to clear your head during an argument can work wonders on your well-being, imagine what you could accomplish by creating an even more pronounced separation between you and your problems.

Jana Marie is a Croatian-born writer living amidst the restorative embrace of the Canadian Prairies.

Through her writing, she examines the interplay between self and society as she works to both illuminate and explore the power of contemplative thinking. Her recently completed two-year project, 100 Mindful Days, which combines teachings from the worlds of personal development, self-care, and wellness, will soon be her first book.

If you’d like to hear from her more often, you can subscribe to her newsletter here.

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