Dealing with Disappointment

5 Ways to Spring Back from Disappointment to Contentment

Do you ever get that sinking, deflated, sad feeling of disappointment?

Do you get stuck in it and wallow or do you have the tools to jump out?

We’ve all experienced disappointments both large and small. Some we can brush off and some linger. I find the lingering ones are hanging out to give us a message. A sign that we can shift our perception and behaviour towards self-love and personal growth.

Like all emotions it is necessary to fully feel disappointment rather than ignore it. To sit with it, invite it in and have tea with it. To understand its message and to move forwards with renewed clarity.

Disappointments can be due to a myriad of reasons- a friend letting us down, a break up, not getting a promotion or missing out on an ideal house.

Once we recognise the feelings of disappointment, what can we do about it? 
What do you do after you’ve scowled, stamped and sulked for a while, then what?

You can ask yourself questions like:

  • What thoughts or stories am I playing in my mind about this?
  • Are these thoughts actually true?
  • Was there an expectation, if so, how can I manage my expectations?

Asking ourselves questions shifts our perspective and helps to alleviate self-induced pressure. If no immediate answers come to mind, step back and refocus on something else. Like a watched kettle takes an age to boil, watching our thoughts can also slow down the clarity from naturally arising. Your answer may come through journalling, a comment from a friend, a paragraph in a book or a song playing on the radio.

Here are some other practical ways you can shake off the sinking feeling and put a smile on your face again using the natural elements of earth, fire, water, wood and metal.

Feel Good 5
5 Ways to Spring Back from Disappointment to Contentment

1. Nurturing, love and appreciation

    Connect to people and places that nurture you. Pick up the phone and talk to a trusted friend.  Go out into nature, it is grounding to take a walk or run outside. Go to the beach and feel the sand between your toes. Receiving love and support is like big warm hug-they can melt feelings of despondence and lift you up again.

    Gratitude is a simple, yet effective way to bounce back from the blues.

    Write down 3 things you are grateful for morning and night, really feel the love and appreciation radiating out from your heart and spreading from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

    2. Movement- creativity, music, expression


    Fire teaches you how to expand, be bright and have fun, so turn that frown upside down and dance, exercise sing, talk and express.

    Movement changes our energetic state and enables stuck emotions to be released- get out of your head into your body. Making space for clarity and new ways to look at your experiences and circumstances, increases your feelings of well-being and connects you to delight.

    3. Meditation


    Utilise the deep reflective and downward flowing energy of water to go inwards. Connect to your inner wisdom and listen to your heart. Meditation helps to still our minds, focus and gain clarity. By going inwards and accessing our own depths, we can discover new perspectives, shing a light on options, alternatives and choices.

    Guided meditations that would be useful for disappointment include forgiveness, Metta (Loving Kindness) acceptance and gratitude.

    4. Radical Acceptance


    Wood energy invites growth, adaptability, ideas and tenderness.

    Radical acceptance is accepting things the way they are without resistance. A skill which keeps pain from turning into suffering. Instead of fighting with reality, you’re accepting reality by letting things go. When you practice radical acceptance, you accept things when they don’t go your way- you bend and flex like bamboo in the wind without snapping.

    Radical acceptance is not approval, its accepting that we cannot currently change the present facts even if we don’t like them. It’s holding yourself with compassion when you’re finding things are tough.

    This growth mindset from resistance to acceptance is a loving way of adapting that can lead to new ideas and problem solving.

    5. Breathing exercises and cutting out negative self-talk


    Metal is associated with the lungs and large intestine- with letting go, breathing, inspiration and self-worth. One symbol for metal is the sword.

    What mindset contributed to your feeling of disappointment? What attitude is no longer serving you to be your most vibrant self?

    For example, if you were disappointed by a task not being completed, consider- did you ask for help or did you try and soldier on and suffer in silence inwardly harbouring disappointment?

    Write down how these perspectives served you in the past, express your gratitude and then let them go. If it helps you can cut up the paper or burning it symbolically releasing the content.

    Once you have let go, space is created which feels like a ‘breath of fresh air’. You can practice breathing exercises to take in pure fresh air which invites inspiration. A simple one would be breathing in for a count of 4, holding and breathing out for a count of 8.

    “So don’t look at yourself as a sad consolation prize, put in the work, become someone you’re proud of. If you’re who you are left with at the end of the day, be happy with who you have ended up with.”

                                                                                                                      ~Heidi Priebe

    With love and hugs

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *