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The greatest strategies to deal with unpleasant news

Imagine your boyfriend/girlfriend cheating on you or leaving you. You've lost your job. You've been given a diagnosis that will alter your life.

Don't worry! Time heals every little thing.

Unfavorable news might fill us with fear and hopelessness. Our entire world appears to be disintegrating, almost as if we are being pushed into the ground. We constantly have the worst-case scenario on the brain and in our bellies. Other feelings like anger, remorse, despair, betrayal, and love are frequently mixed in.

6 strategies for dealing with bad news:

The bad news is that we will all experience it again.

So, how do you handle it?

1. Deep breathing:

It's crucial to regain emotional control right away after hearing bad news. To start, control your breathing. Take a long, slow breath through your nose and hold it for a few seconds. Then slowly let the air out while pursing your lips. As much as you can, exhale. Continue until you start to feel more at ease.

2. Contextualization:

Try to frame the unpleasant news and place it in the appropriate context. Consider all the wonderful things you have experienced and will experience in the future. Remind yourself of all your assets, including your friends, facilities, and faculties, that you can use to your advantage. Consider how much worse things could be—and how they currently are for some—and how that would be terrible. Perhaps someone broke into your home. You indeed misplaced some items, and it's a major hassle. You still have your partner, career, and health, though.

Bad things are destined to happen to us every now and then, and it is only a matter of time before they do again. They frequently only represent the negative aspect of the positive things we value. Because you owned a home and belongings, you were burgled. Because you had a terrific connection, to begin with, you lost it. Many negative things are simply the elimination or reversal of positive ones.

3. Negative visualization:

Concentrate now on the awful news itself. What could possibly go wrong, and would that truly be so bad? What is the best outcome that may occur now that the worst has been overcome? What is the most likely result, then? Imagine that you are the target of a lawsuit threat. The worst scenario is losing the case and having to deal with the associated expenses, stress, and emotional and reputational damage.

Even if it's improbable, you could serve time in jail (it has happened to some, and a few, like Bertrand Russell, did rather well out of it). But the consequence that you will most likely experience is an out-of-court settlement. The best-case scenario is that you win it, or even better, that it gets dropped.

4. Transformation:

Last but not least, make an effort to turn your negative news into something nice or something that has some positive characteristics. Your negative news might be a teaching or strengthening experience, a wake-up call, or something that makes you reevaluate your priorities. It provides a glimpse into the state of the human race and a chance to practice respect and restraint. Perhaps you lost your job, in which case it's time for a vacation and promotion, a change of career, or the independence and fulfillment of working for yourself. Perhaps your spouse cheated on you.

However, you are confident that there is still something there—that he or she still loves you. You could even have the strength to comprehend his or her intentions. Of course, it hurts, but there may also be opportunities to move on, restart your relationship, or discover a more satisfying one. You have a critical medical condition, according to the diagnosis. Even if the news is horrible, it also presents an opportunity for you to receive the help and support you require, take charge, fight back, and view your life and your relationships from a different, more insightful angle.

5. Self-control:

The unpleasant news will start to lose its sting over the coming hours, days, and weeks as you absorb it and incorporate it into your worldview. It can be tempting to rush ahead and try to reverse or lessen your poor luck in the interim by remaining busy to divert your attention. Avoid making impulsive decisions that drain your resources and exacerbate an already difficult situation. Instead, step back and establish your priorities.

Think laterally, take calculated risks, and remember that sometimes taking a milder course of action—or maybe doing nothing at all—is the best course of action. Focus on the things that are firmly under your control rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Consider how much more pain that person must be going through when you strive to feel their suffering and comprehend their perspective.

6. Support:

Nothing is more natural than to turn to one or more people for guidance, perspective, and reassurance—or even just for a hand to squeeze—when we feel threatened and vulnerable or just overwhelmed. However, it's crucial to approach the appropriate person, someone who will understand how to listen and respond, and who won't just make matters worse.

You can phone one of several helplines or seek professional assistance from a counselor, pastor, or doctor if you can't find somebody suitable or want something more structured. Be wary of open chat rooms and untrusted websites if you use the Internet for help and information. We can obtain perspective and tranquility by talking about our feelings and thoughts with other people. Spending time in nature and taking an interest in or participating in the arts, such as writing, painting, and music, are additional activities that can help with this.

Finally, remember these precious words from John Milton:
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.

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