Disappointment

Disappointment is a tricky emotion to deal with because every day can bring up new situations to be disappointed about.

Sometimes disappointments come at rapid speed (like, when it rains it pours). Sometimes they are truly huge and life changing.

Then there are those that are small, annoying, or simply just make you cringe.

Meanwhile, difficult times around the world add to our daily stressors and can heighten our reactions to negative news.

The following are just a few ways to improve our ability to cope and bounce back quickly from the disappointments and frustrations that are a part of everyday life.

1. Take a moment to dwell.

You may find your sense of calm more easily if you allow yourself not be calm man being disappointedduring the initial shock. When you get bad news, take a moment to let it sink in. Let the disappointment wash over you and then acknowledge your emotions.

2. Ask if it’s really that bad?

After the initial shock of a disappointment, step back and assess. It can feel like the biggest, most horrible thing that could possibly happen, but usually that’s just the drama edging itself in. When the initial upset is over, try to look objectively at your problems to help separate truth from fiction and reduce any negative self-talk or feelings.

3. Take the high road.

Even though we don’t get to choose the situations where we feel disappointed, we have a lot of choice regarding how we respond to them. It’s important to get your feelings under control before they morph into irritation, anger, resentment, jealousy, or bitterness.

4. Don’t wallow in negativity.

The main object when dealing with disappointment is to not let it grow into stronger emotions like discouragement or depression. Turn the table on disappointment and try to look for ways to grow from it. Try to turn the negative emotion into something positive like determination to restore your peace of mind.

5. Avoid anxious reactions by lowering your stress.

disappointment and stress blowing smoke from his earsFind a method for fast anxiety relief, such as meditating, walking, listening to music or taking a shower. Your stress and anxiety levels can add an extra layer of sensitivity and make you more prone to agitation. If we don’t find a way to deal with disappointment we tend to focus almost exclusively on the negative and catastrophize. Find things to do daily, that keep you calmer so that you don’t feel like it’s the end of the world every time you are disappointed by an outcome.

6. Put things in perspective.

We have to try to frame events in our lives in a constructive way. Our interpretation of what happens is more important than what actually happens. In any disappointing situation, we need to find something useful to gain from the incident or that lets us focus on a positive aspect. The better we learn to frame situations in an honest, constructive and positive way, the better we are able to deal with disappointment.

7. Don’t adopt other people’s reactions.

Every person has a unique perspective. We can all work on becoming secure in our own points of view so that others don’t rattle us with theirs. We can also lighten up about some of our own views. Try to be open to new ideas and don’t feel a need to be right all the time. It is also important to own our mistakes and apologize when we should.

8. Write down your issues.

As I mentioned in a previous post about journaling, writing down our issues is a Journalinggood way to express concerns and emotions about disappointment in a non-threatening way. A journal is non-judgmental and won’t offer criticism.

Obviously these are just a few ways to cope with disappointments in life. The main idea is to try not to allow disappointments to fester and become larger problems. Try to face them, head on, and work through issues while moving forward toward your goals.

Most of the time, disappointment is a stepping stone on the path to success. It is not the end point, it’s just a marker showing you where you’ve been and where you’re going.

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