Disappointment is not a pleasant experience. It can be very painful, even if it is short-lived and relatively mild. But you don’t have to let disappointment overwhelm and destroy you. There are healthy ways to handle disappointment that will help you feel better faster and foster resilience in the future.
But first, we need to acknowledge why we feel this way in the first place.
Acknowledge your emotions.
Recognize and acknowledge how you are feeling. Our emotions want to be heard and accepted, and the more we ignore them, the more power they tend to hold over us. It’s okay to feel crappy, disappointed or let down. Feel the feels!
Give yourself a time out.
When you’re disappointed, take a break. Take a walk around your house or outside for a few minutes, or go for a run if that’s what you need to do. If it’s easier than that—and it probably is—then nap on the couch in front of the TV or take a bath with your favourite music playing softly in the background.
Another thing you can try is taking an intentional deep breath and holding it (don’t let go!) before letting things out again; sometimes this helps us ground ourselves so we can deal with our disappointment more effectively later on down the road!
Exercising is a great way to handle disappointment. It can help you feel better and more optimistic, which will make it easier for you to move on with your life. Try taking up an activity that makes exercise fun, such as dancing or walking with your dog.
Exercise also has physical benefits: it increases cognitive function and helps reduce stress levels by improving endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). When we exercise regularly, our minds are able to focus more clearly on what’s happening around us without being distracted by negative thoughts about ourselves or others’ expectations of us; this leads us towards greater productivity and better overall health outcomes over time!
Do something nice for yourself.
Remember, you are the only person who can make yourself feel good, so it’s up to you if your own happiness takes priority over other people’s expectations or needs. It’s okay to put yourself first and to say no to others if needed.
Do what makes YOU happy instead of worrying about what others think or expect from YOU in a certain way (or how they’ll react).
Set a reasonable timeframe to achieve your goal then move on and refocus if you don’t succeed by that date.
In one of the recent podcast episodes of our Happiness Co Upside Down Podcast, Brayden and Thomas defined disappointment as a feeling that we experience when the outcome does not match the expectation.
One thing that you can do to match expectations and handle disappointments would be to set a reasonable timeframe for every goal that you have. If you’re trying to lose weight, for example, it’s best not to set an unrealistic goal like “I want to lose 20kg in a month!” because this could lead you down the path of failing before even trying.
Instead, set something more attainable like “I want my jeans size down from 34” waist (my current size) to 32” in the next two months” or something similar—the important thing here isn’t necessarily losing weight but rather making good choices about what foods are going into your diet so that you can become healthier and stronger.
If you are comfortable, talk to someone about it.
Another tip in the episode was to talk to someone: your mate, partner, child, or anyone who knows how to understand and listen. Talk to someone who will be compassionate and supportive, even if you don’t feel like it at the moment.
Make sure that your listener is non-judgmental because when you’re feeling down in the dumps about something, it can be hard for others not to feel angry with the person who made them sad!
If you are not comfortable doing so, you can journal and let your frustrations out. Writing things can help you release all the emotions and realise what went right and wrong. It can also remind you later on when things start looking up again!
Coping in healthy ways will help you feel better faster, and foster resilience in you as well.
In one of our previous blogs, we have shared five ways to overcome expectations that can also help adults like you to lessen disappointment. Another reminder is to not to sit in disappointment for too long. The sooner you accept it and move on, the faster you can grow and learn from it. Try to look at the good, positive things that come out of this outcome.
We all experience disappointment from time to time—it’s a normal part of life. But when you learn how to handle it in healthy ways, you can move past those feelings and find happiness again.