Facing Unwanted Change and Disappointment: Steps That Work


Change and disappointment are part of life, and often stressful. Although a bit of stress is motivating, too much can create or worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Learning to manage unwanted change constructively can reduce feelings of panic, anxiety, or depression, and increase the odds of transforming disappointment into opportunity.

A Quartet of Helpful Steps

Here are four steps, recommended by Deepak Chopra, MD, that others have found helpful when confronted with disappointment and unwelcome change. Using them may create a habit of facing life’s curve balls with minimal anxiety, and maximum resilience.

1. Be Good To Yourself

Withdraw your attention from thoughts of isolating, binging on junk food, or spending hours in front of a TV or gaming screen. Those activities temporarily reduce anxiety, but are toxic and self-sabotaging.

You will feel more in control of your life by eating well, spending time outdoors, staying physically active, socializing with friends and family, and refreshing yourself with plenty of sleep.

2. Engage Your Rational Mind

When emotions are running high, or are in the doldrums, it helps to engage the services of our rational mind by strategizing.

Get a piece of paper and pen, take a few calming breaths, then ask yourself a question: Is this an issue I need to fix, put up with, or walk away from?

A rational answer to this question can clear the cobwebs from of a stressed mind, prevent impulsive reactions, and make us think twice before falling back on ineffective habits.

Start by searching for a fix—write down five possible ways to fix the problem. If you come up with a good solution, put it into action, and see it through. If no agreeable solutions present themselves, consider putting up with the difficulty.

If the best option is exercising patience and putting up with the problem, then making this decision puts you back in control. Write down your reasons for deciding to stay put, and realize it is likely temporary.

If, however, you can find no suitable fix and putting up with the problem is too stressful, walking away is the optimal way to go.

3. Talk To Someone Who’s Been There

Many people who have come through dark times are ready and wiling to offer encouragement to others. You can find support, genuine empathy, and a good role model in someone who has successfully navigated the same, or a similar problem as yours. Check out support groups, online forums or blogs, or simply ask around.

4. Tap Your Inner Resources

Use reflection, contemplation, meditation, relaxation, prayer, or time in nature - whatever works for you - to reach the place within yourself where inspiration, insight, and creativity exist.

If our awareness remains at the level of our problem we fall into obsessive thinking, old habits, and paralysis. When awareness rests with our deeper mind (or muse, soul, higher self, spirit, intuition) we are less anxious, more hopeful, and better able to see our way forward.

Source: chopra
Photo credit: anton petukhov


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