Isn’t it strange how when one thing goes wrong, it feels like ten others follow? You get a flat tire, which causes you to be late for work, then you forget an appointment you had, then… Well, you get my point. I could go on forever because that’s how these things work. They go on forever if you let them. I think these things, let’s call them disappointments, sneak up on you like a bad cold and they are always a shock and very unwelcome. When they happen, you think, as a responsible person, that you should be prepared and then you reprimand yourself for not being psychic and preventing the problem in the first place. Because, of course, you should have known. Right?
Well…not really. Let’s think about it rationally in an effort to cut ourselves some slack. When an incident, one of these disappointments, occurs, we immediately use all of our mental resources (and any other resources we have at the time, including financial) to cope with the shock to our routine. We do this because we instinctively do everything we can to get our lives back to the status quo, which is really the everyday routine that we are used to. We like that routine because we are the experts at it. We know what time we are supposed to get to work everyday, we know who we are going to see and we know how much of our mental and monetary resources we will need to use on a regular basis.
When that comfortable routine is sent off-course, we get stressed out. Stress leads to mental and physical discomfort and then, guess what? You are not feeling as efficient and confident as you were prior to the commencement of the first disappointment. Therefore, you are more likely to be susceptible to making small mistakes and doubting yourself. In addition, those small mistakes feel really big when you’re feeling down.
If we let it, feeling down can become the new routine and that is how depressive symptoms can arrive and take a toll on you and your family. It is hard to feel confident, successful, and positive when you expect everything to go wrong and if you expect things to go wrong, most likely they will.
A person’s thoughts are their greatest weapon in combating the disappointments in life. You are what you think (and occasionally what you eat, ha ha). I have always tried to instill a belief within myself and my clients that whatever we go through, we will get through it somehow and be stronger for it. And you know what usually happens? We get through it and we are stronger for it because we lived it and we learned our lesson for the next time.
Living life has its ups and downs. Sometimes it feels like it has more downs but if you really start to believe that there is no way up, then it will only get harder for you because it is likely that you will get what you expect. Positivity really does work in these instances because a positive mindset motivates you to believe that when life does give you lemons, you can make a really yummy glass of lemonade and share it with your loved ones once the lemons stop pelting you in the head.
Next time the first disappointment hits, please try the following: Believe it gets better. Enjoy your life. Smile big and give someone a hug. Do something that makes you laugh. Make plans to do something you used to enjoy and call it self-care, because you need it. Forgive yourself. We all make mistakes, but we don’t all rebound from them. Rebound. And make some lemonade. Oh…and send me some, I do love me some lemonade. =)