How to cope with disappointment

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Disappointment sucks.

You’ve experienced it before, you know it’s a part of life, and yet somehow it still seems to suck the wind right out of you every time.

You let yourself feel the hope of something good, just to be let down again. Maybe it was the hope of a new relationship, but then they ghosted you. Maybe you took a chance and expressed your true feelings, but they don’t feel the same way. Or maybe, you finally let yourself trust someone who ended up hurting you.

Disappointment can be overwhelming, and you can be flooded with other emotions like sadness, frustration, and anger, too.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay (and normal) to experience any and all of these feelings.

These coping strategies can help you process your feelings in a more manageable way:

Express your thoughts and feelings

Talk to someone you trust, write in a journal, or use an audio/video journal on your phone. Then, try to think back to times when you’ve felt differently. Remember how you felt when you were accepted for a new job, or a moment of pride for completing a difficult task. These feelings come and go, and, like disappointment, are temporary. You can get through this.

Comfort yourself with 5 senses

Using all of your senses, engage in something relaxing and calming. For example, you can use 5 senses when you go for a walk:

See: notice the nature (trees, birds, etc.) around you

Taste: bring your favorite drink

Smell: take in the fresh air

Touch: wear a soft cozy sweater

Hear: listen to your favorite upbeat music

Another example would be watching an action movie at home with the windows open, a nice candle, warm blanket, and a bowl of buttery popcorn. You can do this alone or consider inviting someone you trust. You can choose not to share with them what’s going on and still get the support of their presence.

Challenge critical thoughts

Finally, challenge harmful and critical thoughts by thinking about something more balanced. For example, if you made a decision to express yourself honestly but you didn’t get the response you hoped for, at least give yourself some credit for trying. It likely took a lot of courage and strength to take a risk like that. Their feelings or responses are not in your control and not your fault. Remind yourself of your positive qualities and talk kindly to yourself like you would a friend.

You are already on your way to healing by taking time for yourself and reading this blog. Keep going!

If you are ready to dive deeper and get personalized support for your healing process, please contact me to see if you’d be a good fit for individual therapy.

Photography by Portrait Memoirs.