Dealing with Daily Distress Part 2

Last week I wrote about how to stay in the moment. Being mindful is the first key strategy in dealing with the pressures of everyday life.

The second is managing our expectations. How often do we think, "It shouldn't be like this!" or, "They shouldn't act that way!"

You may be right. But that's not what happened, is it? Life isn't fair. Things happen that are unpleasant that we don't deserve, and people frequently don't behave the way we think they ought to. The result is that we put pressure on ourselves, learn to be a "victim," or become cynical. There is a better way.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself, starting right now, in order to readjust your expectations:

-Is there anything positive or constructive I can do about this?

-What were the events that caused this to happen in the first place (facts, not assumptions)? How could this be avoided in the future?

-How important is this, really?

-What higher good could come from this?

-What lesson(s) can I learn from this?

-What in this experience can I find gratitude for? (Hint: It might be only that you had the strength to get through it, but there is always something.)

-Remind yourself that everything tends to work out in the end.

-Remind yourself that the only person over whom you have control is you.Why did someone else behave the way they did? Find compassion for their point of view.

-What could I have done differently?

-Will this matter in 5 years?

-Will my expectations change the way someone else behaves?

-Why is having things my way important?

-What was I thinking about when a negative situation arose? Could my response have really been about something else?

-Am I suffering from a cognitive distortion? (Identify, label, keep asking yourself, “why?” until you find it, then combat with logic.)

-Remind yourself that, “Energy flows where attention goes.”

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