Managing Disappointment

6th May 2020

Posted in: Blog General Grief and Loss

Disappointment can be a difficult emotion to deal with, regardless of your age. Whether young, middle aged or elderly, we all aspire to have certain things in our lives or have goals we are striving to achieve. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to, and disappointment can be the end result.

Although disappointment is a normal part of life, we all have a choice as to how we respond to the emotions surrounding it. The way we choose to respond has a direct link to future happiness, overall health, social interactions and mental well-being. By choosing to wallow in the negative feelings, you may find yourself avoiding friends, eating poorly, and generally feeling sad or angry most of the time. Alternatively, if you choose to look at the disappointment as a normal part of life and decide to move on or view it as a challenge to be overcome, then your positive mindset will help motivate you towards the pursuit of other goals and healthy life choices.

It is important for individuals to take steps to recognise and overcome negative emotions associated with disappointment, as left unchecked these can bring on stronger emotions such as anxiety and depression.  If you are struggling to manage feelings of disappointment, the strategies below may help shift you towards a positive mindset.

  • Recognise and accept that disappointment happens to everyone at some stage of their life. Take time to normalise the situation and understand its not possible for everything to happen just as you want it to. There are often external influences which are outside of your control.
  • Depersonalise the situation. Try to take the emotion out of it and look at the facts. This will help you to view things objectively and accept the disappointment.
  • Shut down negative self-talk. Instead of emphasising the negative thoughts and emotions and/or telling yourself it’s your fault, switch to positive self-talk. Tell yourself it’s okay it didn’t work out this time and that you are capable of achieving other goals.
  • Set new achievable goals. This will help with motivating you to move forward. Your goals don’t have to be huge, small achievable steps will help you to move on.
  • Surround yourself with positive people. Being around motivated people who focus on moving forward and living a happy and healthy life will encourage you to do the same.
  • Seek out help. If you are struggling to manage your negative thoughts, reach out for help. Talking about how you are feeling with a friend, relative or counsellor can help with normalising the situation and gaining a new perspective.

If you are having difficulties overcoming feelings of disappointment, contact Karen Cummins at Mindful Crossroads counselling services on 0400416535, or fill in the “Contact” section on the Mindful Crossroads website to arrange a confidential discussion.