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You can’t afford to wallow in disappointment

inspiration:with Cynthia C Hakutangwi

Disappointment is a tricky emotion to deal with because every day can bring about new situations to be disappointed over. Sometimes disappointments come at rapid speed. 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 your reaction to negative news.

Ways of dealing with disappointment
Do a reality check
Is it really that bad? After feeling the first blows of disappointment, step back and assess. It can seem like the biggest, most horrible thing that could possibly happen — but humans tend to dramatize, too. Feelings are real and are important to recognise, but thoughts are not always the truth. When the initial upset is over, try to look objectively at your problems to help separate fact from fiction and reduce negative self-talk.

Don’t stew in negativity
Like any other emotion, disappointment has a spectrum. The secret to dealing with disappointment is to not let it grow into stronger emotions like discouragement and depression. The longer we stew in disappointment the more likely we will allow ourselves to become discouraged which is even more difficult to get through. The longer we are discouraged the greater the chances of getting depressed. Turn the emotional tables on disappointment and always look for ways to grow from it. Turn this negative emotion into a positive emotion like determination, because is it a way to restore peace of mind.

Avoid anxious reactions by lowering stress
Find a sweet spot for fast anxiety relief, such as meditating, walking, listening to music, engaging in worship, taking a long bath or watching a comedy. Your general state of stress and anxiety can add an extra layer of sensitivity and make you more prone to agitation. Find things to do every day that keep you calmer so that you don’t feel it is the end of the world every time you are disappointed by an outcome.

Put things in perspective
Our interpretation of what happens is in many ways more important than what actually happens. In any disappointment we need to find something useful that we can build on, or that at least lets us see even the smallest positive. The more we can learn to frame in a way that’s constructive and positive while still being honest, the better we are able to process disappointment.

Try not to take other people’s reactions and opinions to heart
Differing points of view are not, in themselves, insults. Some people feel attacked when someone disagrees with them or implies that they’ve done something wrong. Wise people know that every person has a unique perspective, and that’s okay. Not every person we deal with in life or in social media is wise, but we can all work on becoming secure in our own points of view so that others do not rattle us with theirs.

Limit others from dumping their disappointments
While sharing and being heard is important, try to stay clear from people who make a big deal out of everything that goes wrong. People who put a negative spin on everything often spew the negativity on the people around them. Sometimes you have to limit contacts and when exposed, let negative news go in one ear and out the other. Especially, when trying to process your own disappointments.

Write down your distress
One way to cope with disappointment is by writing down our feelings. Journaling is a good way to start because it can help you express concerns and emotions about your disappointment in a non-threatening way. The journal is non-judgmental and will listen. To “free write” not even lifting the pen from the page, until everything flows out. It can be a great way to grow, learn and transform from your disappointment. Writing can be used to release pain and to also help us rebuild strength.

Develop positive thinking muscles
When we get stuck focusing on bad news we lose sight of what is right in our lives and the world around us. Our brains are fundamentally wired to focus on the negatives in our lives. It is part of our self-preservation to look for potential threats in the world around us. That wiring is old and in today’s world doesn’t always serve us when we are pummelled with negativity at every turn. Our brains are also neoplastic, meaning we can rewire them to look for what is right in the world. A gratitude list of 10 to 20 items every day can help reset your mind.

Remember, while we cannot always control the disappointments that come our way, we can seek to alleviate and counteract their impact on our daily lives. But if the burden is too heavy to carry alone, reach out for a friend to talk to or professional support.

l Cynthia Chirinda is an organisational and personal development consultant, life coach, author and strategist. Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to review your progress and achieve your goals. E-mail: cynthia@cynthiac.net. LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda. Mobile: +263 717 013 206. Website: www.cynthiac.net.

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