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Tips for Dealing with Setbacks

These tips are related to what I personally find helpful philosophies, practical tips and insights! Be your own judge of what might work or does work best for you.

I don’t have any set definition of “setback”. I refer to any undesirable outcome you have experienced in life that has left you feeling anxious, low in mood or some other emotional state that you don’t want to be in!

Top Tip 1

Have a short memory!

Hear me out on this. How can we “have a short memory”? Memory is not something we can really turn “on” and “off”. This is a philosophy of mine. A way of thinking. Memory around setbacks can be useful to an extent. If the setback resulted from a mistake on our behalf, then memory can help us learn from this. However, many of us (me included) have our memory running all too rampant.

We go over & over our setbacks and mistakes without really turning it into anything useful or constructive. So I know you can’t just “have a short memory” automatically, but work towards it in terms of setbacks. Mostly, but not always, FORGET ABOUT SETBACKS.

Top Tip 2

Be willing to be brutally honest with yourself

If you are emotionally struggling due to a setback, be damn sure to ask yourself why? Why are you so emotionally affected by it? I’m not saying you should just take every setback in your stride. It hurts sometimes. Most of the time. For real! But are you making yourself more upset than you need to be? Think about that. Are your emotions and feelings appropriate to the “setback”?

Sometimes they are. I admit that. Mostly they are not (for me).

Top Tip 3

Was it just meant to be?

I am wondering if people might think I have lost the plot here. I have to admit I am a believer that “some things happen for a reason”. I cannot say that “everything happens for a reason”. However, for me, I actually believe, and it’s given me comfort (and therefore reduced unpleasant emotions) that sometimes, things just happen because they were meant to happen!All the things that were required for the “setback” to happen were present at that time to cause the “setback”.

Top Tip 4

How do you respond?

Okay so many people would have heard this “mantra” before. Just because you’ve heard it time and time again. Just because it’s “simplistic”. Doesn’t make it not true! It’s not the setback or adverse event that’s the most important factor. It’s HOW YOU RESPOND! That’s true by the way!100%

Top Tip 5

CBT anyone?

I’ve blogged about CBT many times, including in my other two “7 Top Tips” blogs. I won’t copy from them here. Take a look. They will be relevant (in my opinion) in helping you deal with setbacks. My advice (it works for me anyway) is… embrace Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles in trying to manage and deal with setbacks. The way you think about and behave/act after a setback or during a setback is very relevant to how you ultimately deal with this setback (emotionally and practically).

Top Tip 6

Talk to people

Yes that’s right. Instead of “licking your wounds in the cave”, open up about your setback. The pain, the anguish. The hurt. The rejection. Unless your 95% sure you can remedy it yourself, don’t just sit back and keep it all to yourself. Park embarrassment, shame and guilt. Park it. Risk discomfort and talk about it. Talk it out. You are often not the best judge of your emotions and thought processes after a setback. See what other’s think about it.

Top Tip 7

So what’s the plan?

Okay, so you’ve had a set-back. You are hurt. You never thought you’d be in this position. It was all going so well and “meant to be”. Now it’s messed up. What to do? Take your time, make a plan!

Make a RECOVERY PLAN, because believe me, you WILL bounce back!

Post written and produced by Alex Jones for Anxiety United

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