Home » Advice for Dealing with Disappointment

Disappointments are a reality in everybody’s life. Due to this fact, it is helpful if people learn how to successfully deal with stressful feelings of disappointment in a positive and healthy manner. There are a few helpful strategies that people can use when dealing with setbacks and other disappointments in life.

Disappoints are in many ways just another form of sadness. These feelings of loss remind people of the difference between what they want versus what they have. This difference between reality and expectations is sometimes painful. People can accidentally set themselves up for disappointment when they realize that their expectations are not materializing in their life.

People should remember that, these experiences of disappointment can provide valuable information about their attitudes and value system. The more people know about themselves, the easier it is to be happy with their circumstances.

With this mind, here a few strategies to follow when dealing with feelings of disappointment:

[1] Use Distress Tolerance Techniques:

Some of the principles and practices from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). This kind of therapy, along with dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), was originally created to treat borderline personality disorder. But the concept of distress tolerance is helpful for regulation emotions and putting things into perspective.

As a behavioral skill, distress tolerance is a person’s actual or perceived ability to stand up to emotional distress. Some people experience negative emotions and setbacks as overwhelming, while others seem unphased by the same event or situation. Individuals with a low tolerance for distress seem to have trouble dealing with mild levels of stress. When dealing with this stress, they display negative behaviors that tend to create additional overall stress. One of the key elements of distress tolerance is to survive a stressful and emotional situation without making the overall incident worse.

The more people are aware of their thoughts, feelings and behavioral; the easier it is to rebound from disappointments. In order to accomplish this goal, people need to reflect on their emotions and consciously make better decisions. However, the use of distress tolerance techniques is easier to accomplish with the guidance of a trained mental health professional.

[2] Control the Amount of Negativity:

Feelings of disappointment are tough to deal with for many people. But, people need to place stressful events in context. In other words, perform a reality check of the situation. Are things really as bad as people think?

Each new day can create new situations that can generate new disappointments. This means that there are times when it appears that the disappointments are occurring at a rapid pace. Hence the old idiom, when it rains, it pours. Some of these disappointments are serious and life-changing. Yet, there other types of disappointment that are simply small and annoying.

After feeling the first pains of disappointment, individuals should step back and assess the overall situation. The feelings can seem real and very important, but these thoughts are not always a true prospection of reality. People can sometimes be dramatic and believe that this is the most horrible thing they have ever experienced.

Individuals can let negative emotions like disappointment grow into more serious mental health conditions like depression. This is what people want to avoid. People should not linger on their disappointments, but instead view the experience as an opportunity of growth. Mentally, people should view these negative emotions as a temporary feeling and not a permanent state of mind. The longer individuals dwell on their disappointments, the more likely they are to become discouraged, pessimistic and negative.

When pessimistic thoughts and attitudes prevail, people can become emotionally toxic. This toxic behavior is sometimes contagious and can be projected on to their surrounding environment. This means friends, family and co-workers could start to actively avoid them. This circumstance will likely make any feelings of disappointment – worse. The goal is to flip the negative emotions and turn these toxic emotions into more positive feelings such as determination.

[3] Become More Resilient and Flexible:

Individuals need to focus on what they can control, and accept the things that they are unable to control. In this way, people will learn to take disappointments in stride and see these setbacks as an everyday part of life. This is the essence of resilience. It is okay and natural to feel disappointed. But, this is a temporary state and people need to find a way to move forward.

When life does not unfold according to plan, people may interpret this to mean that they will not get what they want. There are actually many ways to achieve goals and obtain what is needed in life. These “ways” could be things that people are not even aware of yet. A flexible mindset allows people to consider being open to yet unknown possibilities.

Researchers have found that one of the best methods for gaining more resilience is to construct realistic appraisals of what is needed in life. The goal is for individuals to avoid over-idealizing what could be, while coming to terms with what they already have in their life. An attribute of self-actualized people is the ability to distinguish between the means and the ends. These people are able to focus on what they actually want, while at the same time staying flexible to various ways they can achieve this desire.

About Emerald Psychiatry & TMS Center:

The staff at Emerald Psychiatry & TMS Center understand that as a psychiatry practice, they are here to meet the needs of their patients. They create a trusting relationship with their patients which facilitates healing. By forming a trusting partnership with their patients, Emerald Psychiatry generates a comprehensive treatment plan that is customized to an individual’s unique needs. For more information, contact Emerald Psychiatry & TMS Center.

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Contributor: ABCS RCM