It is inevitable that we will be faced with experiences of disappointment, stress and pain at some point in our lives. Just as the world offers us experiences that create joy and happiness, we will also be faced with stress sometimes. The key is learning how to manage feelings of stress, disappointment, worry, sadness, etc in healthy ways so that these feeling do not control or destroy our lives.
I like to think that we each have a metaphorical toolbox of tools that we can use to handle our negative experiences. These tools consist of the support we have, resources to utilize, and coping skills that we have gained. Our tools also include our individual strengths, knowledge, gifts and talents that aid us in dealing with the negative parts of life. These are skills and strengths that we can build on and rely on during hard times. Your tools may be strategies that have helped you manage pain in the past. Your toolbox includes any other tools that are comforting, helpful and valuable to you in terms of managing difficulties and living a peaceful, satisfying life. Reflect on what is in your tool box. What skills, strengths, resources, knowledge, supports, etc do you have to help handle tough emotional experiences? Write or draw what is in your toolbox. Brainstorm what other tools you would like to add and how you could go about making them yours!