Learn the steps to deal with bad news better

May 15, 2023

The best way to handle BAD news is to be prepared for them. 

Imagine that you are practicing daily to hit a curve ball. Then you are actually in the game, and the opponent throws you one. You’ve practiced, you know what to do. And you hit it and you don’t let it beat you in the game. 

So in life, when it throws us a curveball, the more we practice before the actual event, the easier it will be to respond appropriately.

Ready for our mini mental fitness practice today? Let’s practice responding to life’s curveballs today. 

🙈 Pick a current situation that you don’t feel too happy about. Please don’t pick the most traumatizing event for this practice, let’s start with something easy! Just like in the gym, we don’t start lifting 100lbs/kgs but easy and gradual does it. So please pick something mildly irritating, frustrating or disappointing. 

🛑 Pause and notice with curiosity how you feel. Upset? Frustrated? Irritated? Peeved? 

🫁 Take a few mindful breaths. Notice the sound of your breathing. The temperature of the air you are breathing in. Can you feel your nostrils moving? Your chest raising? This activity helps your nervous system calm down and getting it prepared for some higher-level problem-solving. (getting out of a flight/fight reaction mode). 

The more you practice these two steps, the higher the chances you will be able to STOP yourself next time when you get triggered (vs. reacting when triggered -e.g., sending that email when hangry and tired… and then regretting it later)  

❤️‍🩹 Give kindness to yourself even if it was your mess up. You deserve compassion, no matter what. You will be able to respond more effectively when you are not suffering from your own constant “beating up” punishment. If the bad news come because of someone else’s mess up, or the circumstances, give kindness to yourself & the other. This is not easy for anyone to deal with, and even this is a part of life. All of us have messed up at one point or another. It is a normal part of growth. 

🎁 Ask yourself - "How could I turn this situation into a gift, an opportunity for something good & meaningful in the future?" Let your brain find the answer. Sometimes the answer comes at the time you least expect it. Give it time if no answer comes to you at the moment. 

💡 Take a moment to reflect - what is something that I can still do in this situation that is life-giving and empowering for me and others? If I cannot change the situation, can I at least change my attitude to it? What could be a small step to move you forward now? 

Originally posted on LinkedIn

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