Letting Go of Expectations is Good for Your Mental Health

Robin D. Stone, LMHC did an article for Psychology Today discussing the color of wellness. How we think impacts our mental health.

The article stated something that really resonated with me. It is important that we are more flexible about our dreams and goals. We must be willing to change our perspectives, so we don’t harbor negative feelings. Also important is the ability to distinguish emotions that are negative and rigid (rage, anxiety) and those that can be useful (concern and disappointment). COVID has made us all realize that we must have coping skills. So many people got divorced during the lock-down phase in 2021. People were going stir crazy and had difficulty keeping themselves encouraged much less others in their households.

People who insist on things going their way or the highway end up feeling anxious, hurt, and rageful. These emotions can lead to behaviors like avoidance and procrastination. This does not mean that you can never feel angry. It means that we accept that life does not always deliver what we want or expect. The only constant is change and people change a lot. Knowing this helps you have a healthy understanding of disappointment, concern and anger. This means we can’t be sitting around expecting our friend to deliver an apology that will never come harboring negative feelings. This means we recognize that an apology may or may not come. We all know of a person who refused to get over something. Their facial expressions tell the whole story.

Robin talks about a technique called REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy). This technique is rooted in philosophy. Here is the awesome part, it leads you to check in with yourself, challenge negative thoughts, and consider other ways of seeing situations. It’s not about what happened to you, it’s about how you perceive it and change the perception to positively impact how you feel.

I use music in my client sessions. It helps shift how a person feels. I encourage my clients to select a theme song and play it when they feel low or need inspiration. Robin certainly gave us some information to glean on. I hope you enjoyed her comments!

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