HOW TO HANDLE DISAPPOINTMENT

Disappointment is a part of life that is unavoidable. No matter how many times we try to make things go our way, there are times where we will end up disappointed. According to Google, disappointment it is the “feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one's hopes or expectations.”

I would say that was accurate.

Not to bring you down but, think about that moment of absolute despair when your hopes or even your  expectations are essentially tackled to the ground Whether you had hopes for a new job, a new relationship, or even if that beautiful pair of shoes you wanted, disappeared from the face of the earth, the disappointment can cause great heartache. Think about a decision that crushed you.  You truly believe the decision was wrong and it left you feeling like you’ve just been hit by a ton of bricks. In the wise words of Eric Matthews (From Boy Meets World, of course), “Life’s hard. Get a helmet.”

Though it sounds harsh, it is a very true statement. There will never be a time where we can fully avoid disappointment. We will absolutely have small or large upsets almost every day and the best we can do is handle them. Move forward. Encourage yourself to recognize that there is something else and your current situation is definitely not the end of the road.

This post will walk you through how to handle situations in your life that cause major disappointment.

GAIN PERSPECTIVE

You are not all knowing, or omnipresent. You cannot understand what or know what will happen in the future. It is this very reason that your circumstances cannot be allowed to prevent current happiness in your life. Sure you may have a situation that causes you to be upset, but circumstances change all the time. You cannot live as if you know what the future will hold. There could be a very good reason why you are going through disappointment now. You may find yourself thanking God that your desire was withheld from you in the future.

It may seem like the end of the world to you at this moment but keep looking for perspective. Live in the present, not the future and take everything in front of you at face value. At the end of the day, if your basic needs are met, you are truly blessed.

WORK THROUGH IT

I personally struggle with depression and have for a very long time. For a while, I thought that my depressive states equaled my tendency towards dramatics and I ignored that it was a very real and very difficult reality. I would slip into month long depressive bouts where I would not get out of bed when I was not at work. I would come home, get into my pajamas and marathon watch Netflix for hours and hours, eating way too many snacks.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Sure, you might need a bit of entertainment (which we’ll discuss) to get your mind off things, but slipping into a state where you are trying to escape your reality is simply not going to cut it. As a matter of fact, it could actually make things worse. Eventually, you’ll have to let everything - the regret, doubt, and pain - in and work it out. Preparing your mind for this will allow you to be ready to handle all the emotion like a champ.  It is a challenge, but facing it head-on is the only way to truly get through it.

When you feel disappointed, take the time to think through it. Take time to try to understand why it happened. Even if you never fully understand, it is truly important thing to accept it exactly the way it is and move forward.

LEARN THE LESSON

Although life’s upsets can throw us off balance, the way we handle our disappointment will teach us valuable skills and increase our resiliency. Learning to think back and reflect will help us to draw the lesson hidden in all the disappointment.

LEARN OPTIMISM

It is very easy to fall into the “why me” state and  festering in your disappointment. Working toward being optimistic is key here, especially if you usually tend toward pessimism (hands raised!). It can be a lot of work to look at things from a more positive perspective.

Instead of viewing your particular circumstance as devastating take it as a temporary setback and understand that no matter what, things will work out! I am a huge believer that things happen for a reason - whether we know or understand that reason is another story.

CONFIDE IN SOMEONE

When we are disappointed, it can be an immediate reaction to crawl in bed and never come out again. I am definitely guilty of avoiding various social situations when I am struggling with something and at first it feels right,but in the end, it only makes matters worse. A crucial step in handling disappointment is confiding in someone you trust. We all know by now that no man is an island and that we need people. Someone should know how you feel and it is better to let it out instead of bottling it in, because that bottle will explode when you finally open it. No one wants to clean up that sticky mess.

JOURNALING

The stress that is often coupled with feelings of disappointment can be worked through with journaling. Journaling is a way to help you relieve stress and helps you to manage difficult situations through thoughtful reflection or even anger management. Writing out your thoughts gives you some time to deal with the problem at hand and get whatever is bothering out of your mind. This can also help you to kick start problem solving and resolving conflicts.  Sometimes, we are not even sure how we feel until we write it down. Start by writing down what happened and how you feel about it. Use no filters and just say what is on your mind - the great thing about journaling is that we can keep it private. No need to worry what someone else may think.

WATCH A MOVIE

Sometimes you really just need to get your mind off of whatever is bothering you. A good superhero movie should get you in a better mood immediately (Avengers! Whoo). Although you want to be careful to not fall into a habit of watching movies and television shows for hours and hours on end. If you come to this point, you may just be completely avoiding the fact that you need to handle the way you feel.

TAKE A WALK

A little exercise is always a great stress reliever and a nice long walk will give you some time to think and reflect. Releasing all those endorphins will help you to cope with whatever pain your temporary setback may have caused.

FIGHT IT

This last way to handle disappointment is probably the most aggressive and should be used with caution. Someone made a decision that affects your life tremendously, but you don’t agree with it and believe it is absolutely the wrong decision. Fight it. In some cases, it is perfectly fine to forget what I said about accepting it (remember this depends on your particular situation). Sometimes, it is very important for your to step in with your guiding hand and make a case for against the very thing that caused you disappointment.

Tiffany Ima