OMG. Your favorite team just lost the playoffs? Talk about a letdown, huh. You know the feeling: Your family put those empty cereal boxes back in the cabinet. There’s nothing like having disappointment for breakfast. How about that time you received no “likes” on your witty status update? Or when you can’t find the answers to your homework on Google? Sheesh. Sometimes disappointments can deluge your entire life. You know, when it rains, it hails coconuts. Well you know what they say: “If life doesn’t break you today, don’t worry – it will try again tomorrow.” But guess what? Even if you’re fed up, you gotta keep your head up.

So how do you cope with those fizzles, foils, and frustrations? First things first: Allow yourself to feel the loss or that downer before you try to “shake it off.” Then try to find just the right words for your emotion. Be specific, please. Do you feel irked, irritated, bummed, sad, offended, or annoyed? Why? you ask. Simply because identifying what we feel helps us make sense of what is happening to us. Try saying your impressions and emotions out loud, sweet friends. “I feel vulnerable.” “I feel resentful.” Now you can work on making the most mentally and spiritually healthful decision about your problem.

There are three things you can always choose in this life: what you think, say, or do about any situation. Every feeling has a range. Just how dejected or disappointed are you? It’s important to rate our emotions at times. Not every event is a “10” on the Richter scale. Unless you’re from California. You know you’re from Cali when you use earthquakes to stir your coffee. Lol. But seriously, the longer we allow ourselves to simmer and stew, the more likely it is that we will become discouraged and even despondent.

Believe it or not, our interpretation of an event is actually more important than the incident itself. And please try not to personalize other people’s reactions to you or to your views. Trust me: It’s not all about “you.” That guy who cut you off on the highway, your boss who snapped at you in the meeting – I see you creating a whole soap opera in your head about it already. But truly, they are all living in their own minds, which is a completely different world from yours.

Remember that someone having a different opinion is not a slap, slight, or insult to you. Many of us feel personally attacked when our loved ones or friends differ, dissent, or disagree with us. Thus it may also be time to tweak your expectations a bit. If you feel frustrated, irritated, and peeved often, perhaps your assumptions and suppositions are a tad unrealistic. If those presumptions and expected outcomes are not serving you well, it is high time to adjust them, especially when it comes to others.

Above all, do not underestimate the power of self-reflection, sweet friends. If it makes you feel better, know that no one gets through this life without swallowing that bitter pill, some kind of discouragement or disillusionment. You’re in good company with the rest of humanity. But no matter what the setback was, it’s crucial to separate your feelings from what happened and believe that you can cope. Hold onto your power. Don’t find a problem for every solution.

Devise a plan to get past your discouragement, and move on. Start with small goals that you can actually achieve. This will send a memo to your brain that, yes, you can actually handle this. Then again, if things didn’t work out as you had hoped, your disappointment can always help you dig deeper and do better next time. Unless, of course, you’re disappointed that it rained on your barbecue. Your positive attitude is awesome, but not likely to change the forecast. Sorry. By the way, the best thing to do when it rains – is to let it. Speaking of weather, do you ever have to go out into the scorching heat to avoid the frostbite from your office’s air condition? Me, too.

Think about your larger vision and dreams and commit to them. No curling up on that couch in crumbling defeat. Stop dwelling on the things that did or did not happen, please. Press the Restart button and start anew. And not how when you don’t feel like folding the laundry, you just restart the dryer – again. Busted. Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel, too, but that would mean more laundry for me. Lol.

When someone says you can’t do it, do it twice. And take pictures. Lol. I assure you – you got this.


Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing. 

 

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