We all experience disappointments in life. Some disappointments are harder than others to deal with and let go of. It can be even harder to let go of a disappointment when our loved ones don’t fully grasp the weight and the metaphorical scar the disappointment has left on us. When we don’t get the support we need from others, we can get stuck and keep reliving or ruminating on the disappointment. We can also develop a habit of wearing our disappointments as a badge of honor, that we display to others as means of getting the recognition or affirmation that we survived something so disappointing that left a lasting mark.
Sometimes it’s easy to let go of our disappointments and other times it can be difficult. When we feel as though we had no power in the situation it can be harder to let go of the disappointment. Anniversaries for the past situation have a way of causing us to remember the details of the situation that caused us to feel disappointment. When you start to recount the disappointing situation, ask yourself, “what do I get from holding on to this disappointment?” and “Do I feel safe or unsafe because of it?” It can be helpful to reflect on what we get from recounting our disappointment, and why it’s rewarding to hold on to the memory of something that disappointed us. If we don’t spend time reflecting on what we’re getting out of it, it can be easy to stay stuck, feel powerless, and to never let the disappointment go. Another question you can ask yourself is “am I happier or sadder because I am carrying this disappointment?”
We all have the power to choose how we deal with disappointments in the present and future. Sometimes acknowledging that we have the power to choose how we deal with the after effects is enough to help us heal and let it go. Please know that there is support available through friends, family or counselors, and even though they may not fully grasp that gravity of the pain from the disappointment, they are still able and willing to support you with healing and reclaiming your power.
Photo by Blake Connally
In the hustle and bustle of life, it can be hard to make time for the people we consider to be our chosen family or our actual family. Our daily responsibilities such as work, school, volunteering or parenting can cause us to feel like there is not enough time in the day to do everything we may want to do. It can feel like the busier we get, the less time we feel that we have for our loved ones. What we tend to forget is that the people we consider to be our loved ones provide us with the extra boost we need to keep going, and they help to improve our overall health.
With the rise of social media, it’s easy to log in to see how our loved ones are doing. We often feel as though we are still connected to them when we see their post. What we may fail to realize is that there is no substitute for in-person time with our loved ones. When we spend in-person time with our loved ones, we have to opportunity to give and receive love, affection and support. When we spend in-person time with loved ones, we are reminded of what really matters in life, and we have to opportunity to be fully present in the present moment. We are also reminded of how fortunate we are to have people in our lives that love and support us. When we spend time with those that care about us, we also feel less isolated and alone which can decrease symptoms of depression. We also experience the sense of safety, which can lower anxiety. An additional benefit to spending in-person time with loves ones is the opportunity for physical affection and being able to look into the eyes of those we love and who love us. The act of touching and looking into the eyes of our loved ones causes our body to release the hormone oxytocin (aka the love hormone) into our bloodstream and we feel loved, relaxed and our blood pressure decreases.
There are many benefits to spending in-person time with our lived ones and there is no substitute for it. Relationships with our loved ones are like anything we want to keep in our lives, they have to receive our attention, time and be prioritized. Anything that does not receive our attention, fades away. Making time for your loved ones, will give you the opportunity to feel loved, happier, less alone and to be physically healthier.
Photo by Hian Oliveira
People tend to downplay the effects of color on mood. Most people wake up in the morning and throw on whatever clothing that is clean and not wrinkled. What most people may not realize is that the color they choose to wear for the day can impact they’re overall mood throughout the day. Brighter or warm colors (red, orange, yellow) can help people feel more energized or lighten ones’ mood. Darker or cool colors (green, blue, purple) can cause people to experience a mellow and relaxed mood. For example, wearing red has a way of making people feel competent, energized and more able to complete tasks. Wearing blue on the other hand, has a way of making people feel calm or at ease.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to pay more attention to the impact of color on me. When I think about the effects of color, I often think about my bright yellow sweater. Most people are drawn to the color yellow because it tends to make people think of sunshine and to feel joy. Every time I wear my yellow sweater, people smile and comment on how much they like the bright color. Over the years I have learned that it’s helpful to wear brighter colors on cloudy days because the brightness of the color can combat the grayness of the day and improve my mood. It may seem like I prefer warm colors over cool colors. This not the case. During times that I feel anxious, ungrounded, or even angry, it is helpful for me to wear or look at cool colors, like light green or light purple. Cool colors are known to have a calming effect on mood. Looking at up at the blue sky, or looking at the green leaves on a tree for a couple of minutes can be a quick activity to improve mood if you are feeling angry or stressed out.
It’s important to pay attention to colors and the impact they have on you. Choosing a color to be around or wear, can have a positive or not so positive effect on your mood, depending on what your mood is. The next time you feel sad or depressed, try wearing or looking at something with a bright or warm color. The next time you feel anxious or angry, try wearing or looking at something for a couple of minutes with a darker or cool color. Have fun getting to know the impact of colors on your mood.
Christina is a Psychotherapist in private practice in Oakland California.