Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tips for Handling Disappointment

Disappointment is a human experience that is inevitable in everyone's life. Even for those that play it safe and limit themselves in what they think they can achieve, there will still be disappointments. Their biggest disappointment may be a deathbed regret “Why didn’t I try or I should have (fill in the blank)?”

As writers or artists, we face disappointment regularly, if not daily. 

When I was a kid, I saw this plaque with a picture of a sad puppy and the words “Those who don’t expect much are never disappointed.” Although this is partially true, one can’t avoid minor disappointments either (you wanted a chocolate milkshake and the machine was down for repairs). But avoiding our dreams or not following our passions, because we fear disappointment, could lead to a joyless life.

Below are several tips to help deal with disappointments.

1. Be empathic and mindful (claim your experience with kindness toward yourself)
2. Ask good questions (what has triggered this emotion)?
3. Reframe the situation and gain perspective
4. Wash sorrow out with joy
5. Change something you can: Doing something positive changes how we feel and helps lift us out of our sadness. (I organized my linen closet and, to my surprise, I did feel better.)

1. Do the opposite: Don’t indulge in bad habits, but take care of yourself.
2. What would X (someone you admire) do?
3. Use your strengths
4. What matters most to you? Your morals and what you value define you, not your achievements.
5. Reach out to family and friends for support
6. What can I learn from this?
7. Be your own voice of reason: Use your inner dialogue and engage in positive self-talk.
Samantha Boardman, M.D.

1. Face the truth of the situation
2. Allow yourself some time to mourn
3. Don’t feel like a victim, take action or make a plan
4. Check that your expectations are realistic
5. Be kind to yourself
6. Look for the positive
7. Be willing to try a different approach
8. Find your grit: Your determination and persistence.

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