You know those days? The days in which we feel just out of sorts or really crappy? It maybe for a variety of reason. You may feel disappointed that you didn’t get the job or promotion. You feel sad or angry that you didn’t get the support from your best friend, boy or girl friend, or spouse when you really needed it. You feel hurt and heart broken that your significant other or spouse doesn’t want you anymore. Your self-esteem is taking a serious hit because in all these scenarios you don’t feel appreciated or wanted.
Basically you feel disappointed in yourself, your career, those that are supposed to be closest to you. You feel like things could never be different. Now let’s suppose that really crappy day persists and you are now barely bobbing along in the shallow water. Some may call it a pity party. I prefer to think of it as the time it takes to regroup or dig yourself out of distress.
I have read and heard “take an hour to be sad, feel it, really feel the emotions and then move on”. I sincerely want to know how that works, whom it works for, and how they do that. One hour for heart break? One hour for job loss? One hour, sixty simple minutes. I am going tell you, that unless the shoes you wanted cannot be found anywhere and are out of stock you are not going to get over it an hour. You know the shoes I am talking about? They are the ones you have been drooling over and hesitating to buy because they cost the same as a car payment? You finally decide to pull the trigger or rather the credit card and they are gone. Pfft into thin air. That you can get over in an hour. Of course, it’s the hour after you have exhausted every possible store & internet search. You say to yourself things like “I am better off with the money in my pocket”, “it wasn’t meant to be”, “the heels are so high I would have broken my ankle”.
It may seem ridiculous. It may seem simple. But there is a skill in that situation which can be used when feeling low or the next step in the downward spiral emotionally. It’s the next level or the level after that of intensity on the anguish scale. Shoes have nothing to do with this kind of pain. These are the feelings of more intense disappointment or serious sadness seeping in. Most of the time when the loss is small we utilize the skill without even knowing we are doing it. We make ourselves feel better by explaining or justifying our behavior or outcomes of situations with logical reasons.
When it comes to ‘getting over’ something it is not as simple as forgive and forget. I really wish it was. I like anyone my age, have had my fair share of disappointments, hurts and sadness. By releasing the anger, sadness and resentment that often pairs with the hurt or disappointment you are honoring yourself . Honoring yourself means you believe you have the ability to make things better. It means believing in yourself.
To get past the event or disappointment, we need to accept that it is not solely about how the person didn’t see us ,or how we seem unheard, or stuck career wise. We need to recognize that each event or situation is an independent incident. When you did not get one specific job it does not mean you will never get a job. It means that this particular job wasn’t the right position for you. It means that the job was filled by a higher ups’ friend or family member. Or that the interviewer was having a rough day and couldn’t see you and your worth for all the magnificence you embody. The same is true with a boyfriend or girl friend or spouse. They had their own agenda, they had a bad day. They don’t like their life because they are unhappy with themselves. It doesn’t mean you will always be alone and it certainly doesn’t mean you are unloveable. We think we know all about the event that made us unhappy. We use sweeping generalizations such as: “I will never be loved”, “My career is destined to suck”, “I will be alone the rest of my life”. Yet, truly we don’t what the other person was thinking. We only know our own perceptions or our side of the story.
This leads me to balanced thinking. Balanced thinking is a skill in which you ask yourself the following questions which can be used in a variety of situations:
Has this ever happened before? What was the outcome? Was it as bad or as good as you thought it would be? How do you know X will happen this time? What makes you think or feel that way?
So, have you ever gone on another date or job interview? Or have you sat home alone forever? Have you been out of work since you graduated school? Have you put yourself or your resumes out there? What was the outcome? Was the date or new job as good or bad as you thought it would be? How do you know you will fail or mess up? How can you be sure things will never be good again? Have you been in a successful relationship, even if it ended? Have you had successes at work?
When we can invoke balanced thinking we are beginning to regroup, move away from the feelings of intense distress, and move towards healing. The next step after proving to yourself that things are not as bleak and dismal as you thought, is to come up with new feelings. These new feelings can be called restorative thoughts. If you put all your thoughts and energy into the anger, grief, disappointment, it is all you can feel. Instead when you feel the negative emotion look for the opposite feeling, name it and restore yourself and your spirit with a more positive thought. So if you are feeling lonely ask yourself how you’d like to feel. If the answer is you want to feel connected to others call a friend, plan a get together, plan to volunteer, or to start a class on the hobby or skill you always wanted learn. If you are feeling disappointed and you want to feel calmer or more cheerful go for a walk, sit in a coffee shop, make your favorite meal, play music and have a dance party even if it is just for you. If you are feeling agitated and want to feel unworried or comforted, journal, take a bath, call a friend, read a book, do puzzle. You get the idea.
The final two-steps in ‘getting over’ something involve planning for the future. First picture what you really want. The relationship in which you feel surrounded by love. The fun you feel traveling with your friends. The job in which you are asked your opinion and are valued. What do these pictures in your mind look like ? How do they make you feel? Be very specific! The second is to accept the past. To fully accept anything you do not have to agree with what happened. It does not mean that you weren’t suited for the job or that your ex-treated you fairly or saw you as you really are. But it is accepting that these were the cards you were dealt and that you can either hold onto the negative emotions or play to win.
Releasing your self from sadness, grief, anger, resentment, and disappointment is like the gift of a new day. It opens you up to the possibility of starting over and to the future that you want.
1- Honor Yourself & your ability to make things better. Begin to release the anger,resentment & disappointment. 2-Stop The Generalizations to free yourself of negative thoughts. 3-Use Balanced Thinking to prove to yourself things have not always been and will not always this way. 4-Use New Feelings Or Restorative Thoughts to move to a more positive frame of mind. This includes planning action steps for your future. 5-Picture What You Want so you have a true and clear cut vision of the way you want this aspect of your future to unfold. 6-Accept It & Play To Win