How to Deal With Disappointment

How to deal with disappointment so you don't let it hinder you and you can move forward!

Most days I'm definitely a glass half full kinda gal.

(Speaking of full glasses, I've currently got a glass full of coffee and it tastes amazing!!!) In general, I'm a really positive person.

This positive attitude usually serves me quite well except for the occasional occasion when my assumption that the best will happen ... doesn't.

It's at those times where I'm left dealing with that yucky feeling everyone deals with off and on throughout life; disappointment.

Disappointment lurks about at different levels and some forms of disappointment are certainly easier to deal with than others.

For example, the other day I walked into one of my favorite coffee shops with the intention of buying myself a slice of their deliciously moist pumpkin bread only to discover that it was all sold out. Booooooo!

Was I disappointed?

Hellz yeah I was, because I really wanted some pumpkin bread dag nabbit!!!

But did I get over it pretty quickly? Yes, yes I did. (I had a scone instead and it was awesome.) Those little types of disappointments happen from day to day and are quite easy to handle.

But what about the disappointments that are really, seriously disappointing?

The kinds that can't be remedied with a baked good (although baked goods always help!) What about the times where you didn't get the job you wanted, fell in love with some one who didn't fall in love with you back and where your life took a turn you didn't expect or want?

I'm not the type of person who likes to sit around wallowing in my sorrows. I like to figure out the problem, find a solution and move on.

Plus, feeling sad and disappointed is just NO fun.

Yes, I might allow myself a small window of time to sit on the couch and Netflix binge with a gigantic slice of cake from Whole Foods, but then it's time to move forward. I've been really disappointed in life before, and I know that it will happen again. That's life!

I've managed to come up with 6 strategies that have helped me cope and heal in the past, so I'm sharing them with you in hopes that they might help you deal with disappointment too.

1. Look at the bigger picture.

Some times when we are feeling disappointed, it's easy to see it as the end of the world. Suddenly the world seems dark and horrible and there's simply no WAY that you'll ever feel better again!!!!

But take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

In the grande scheme of things, how horrible is it really? And are there any positive consequences that can happen as a result?

Some times you might not see any right away, but it's those really poopy times in life (sorry that just came out,) that can make us into better, stronger and wiser people!

Plus, life WILL go on.

2. Be proactive.

Like I said earlier, when a problem arrises or if I'm feeling unhappy, I like to figure out WHAT is going on so I can find a solution and move on.

If something truly disappointing has happened, grab your favorite pen and a notepad and jot down any possible alternative ways to approach the problem.

Is whatever it is worth giving another try? Can you view it from another perspective? Can you tap into any other resources?

Plus, creating a list is fun, hehe. (I have a small obsession with list making!)

As you can see in this post on how to create the ultimate to-do list. 

3. Learn something from it.

What can you learn from the situation? Is it something you could have prevented? How can you keep it from happening again in the future? How can you use the situation to better yourself?

Maybe the situation totally sucked, but how can YOU gain something from it?

(Pssssst, snuggle time on the couch with a fluffy kitty aLWAYS helps!)

4. You can't control everything.

Some times, it's not something you could have prevented.

Yes, there are times when things happen that we just can't control!

I can be a bit of a ... ehem ... control freak some times so during times where I'm feeling really disappointedt it's easy for me to obsess over what I could have done differently to change the situation. But some times no matter how much I obsess I will still come to the same conclusion; nothing. There is nothing I could have done. 

Obsessing over the problem and making myself feel bad about the situation does nothing positive and only wastes time and energy.

So while you might not be able to control the situation, you CAN control your response. How can you respond in a way that will be a reflection of your best self?

 5. Focus on others.

If you find yourself obsessing over how miserable you are, try to focus on others!

Spend time with close friends and family. Talk out your problem, (because venting can feel really great,) but then move on. How can you brighten THEIR day? What can you do for some one else? Also laugh with others. LAUGHING IS THE BEST MEDICINE EVER.

6. Make a list of fun things to do!

This one helps me A LOT. When I'm going through a rough time, I sit down and make a list of a bunch of different fun things I'd like to do/try.

(Need ideas? I wrote this blog post on 15 ways to have a kick-ass day!)

Then, anytime that I start feeling particularly bad, I will go to this list and do something on it. It helps because not only does it get your mind off things, but you are also doing something that is good for your soul. Whether it's trying something that you've always wanted to try or doing something that you love, you really can't go wrong!

I hope these healing strategies help you as much as they've helped me in past situations!

Do you have anything particularly helpful that you do when you find yourself in a really disappointing situation? Please feel free to share in the comments below!