By Nancy Virden (c)2022
What is the first thing you want to do when you feel disappointed? Sulk? Express anger? Withdraw?Talk? Grow depressed? It depends on the size of the disappointment, right? You may be able to slide right on through some mucky situations with a smile and mellow attitude.
If mental health challenges are an undesirable frequent reality for you, disappointment may be more of a stressor than for others who do not struggle in this way. However disappointment strikes you, “SWeeP” can help you manage your reactions.
A wide variety of atypical run-ins with people and demands on my patience defined this past month. “S” stands for shush! Not every complaint or moan of frustration has to be sent out at the moment for others to hear. Finding a safe person with which to share concerns and waiting to express our feelings honestly is appropriate and more helpful. Otherwise, we may stir up more trouble. I did this fairly well in July, finally telling my son and a pastor my worries.
“W” stands for walk. Going for an actual walk, or just going about your business demands strength sometimes when facing disappointment. I do not know about you, but often I want to react in ways that will fuel my own guilt, add stress between people, or even burden an innocent bystander with emotional junk. These choices are unfair and reactionary. Walking (not denial or avoidance!) may be best until reason can balance out the emotions. Putting one foot in front of the other helped me in July until there was a chance to talk things out.
“P” stands for pause. Not much in this world is going to change if we pause for an hour before making a drastic decision. Being hot with anger or frozen in fear are not the most useful mindsets when it comes to addressing difficulties and making choices. If disappointment has us by the nose, we do well to disallow it from pulling us around. I made two decisions that will prevent a repeat of some of what happened in the last month, however, I made them last week after thought and prayer.
While shushing, walking, and pausing you have opportunities to evaluate your values, practice breathing techniques, spend time with God, reconsider, and so much more. You do not have to take strong emotions and stuff them- no, you can be productive about making the best of a disappointment.
Today’s Helpful Word
A person’s wisdom yields patience…
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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