By Dr. Nancy Buck
One of the biggest causes of mental upset and unhappiness comes from our own making. Every time we resist what is actually happening right now in real life we make our own distress and mental discomfort.
You wake up to discover that it is a rainy day. You were hoping for a sunny day to enjoy your morning walk. Boy that is annoying! You’re really trying to get into the habit of getting outside everyday to walk and quiet your mind. And now you can’t go!
What a perfect evening you had planned. You and a friend were going to have a lovely meal together then go see a movie. You were really looking forward to this. But your friend calls to cancel at the last minute. Now what? You’re fun evening is destroyed. Can you ever rely on this friend to come through?
Oh my gosh. You realize you’re getting sick – again! How many colds does that make for you since the fall? Does your body ever cooperate? You’re really being conscientious, taking special care of your diet, your exercise, your work out routines. And still you keep getting sick.
These are just a few examples of what may happen when what we get is very different from what we want. Upset, frustration, anger and disappointment are not unusual feelings.
But remaining in this same emotional spot long after the disappointment is over then becomes a choice. And with that choice comes the persistence in resisting what is actually happening now. Ever heard the expression “What you resist persists?”
The longer we hold on to our upset, disappointment and frustration about reality not turning into what we planned and wanted the longer we will continue to feel upset, disappointed and frustrated.
What can you do instead? Accept what is.
How? Get curious and see if you can discover the “silver lining” in the new reality of what is.
Need better instructions to follow this idea? Watch the movie Silver Linings Playbook. The whole movie is about our hero learning to make the best he can from some unhappy, disappointing changes and challenges in his life. Once he begins to accept what is actually happening now in his life, he discovers unexpected silver linings!
Want to improve your mental health and happiness? Start looking for your silver linings in your disappointments. When you are open to the possibilities you are more likely to discover unexpected treasures.