“When you can’t find a job and the Economy has tanked”
Job cuts, financial crisis, $8 trillion in excess debt and fear of a double dip recession is more than enough to keep us up at night with wondering how to survive more no-growth years ahead .If you’ve lost your job and your home it’s easy to fall into depression and feel that there is no way out! Thinking negatively can drag you down and affect your health. Trying to be optimistic doesn’t mean ignoring the difficult things in your life. It just means focusing on the positive as much as possible.
Some ways to stay positive are:
· Write about a positive future. Make a list or a collage, if you want to take it to a more artistic level, of goals and dreams as if they have already come true. Imagining your future as if it has already happened is a form of manifesting. Since you are home anyway maybe waiting to hear from a potential employer or perhaps you have given up all together, how could it hurt to take some creative time to envision your dream? Imagine all the positive outcomes to your challenging situation. Allow your creativity to flow. If art or collages aren’t your thing write a story about it, make it the most positive future you can imagine. Have fun with it, don’t let that negative voice creep in and say “but that isn’t possible,” who cares, do it anyway! Once you have written your story or made your collage or list read it over and make sure you have everything on there that you want to happen, include all the details. Start each point in your list with words that imply it has already happened. An example would be: “I am so glad that when I lost that job I was free to look for new opportunities and I have the most fabulous job now that I really love.” Or “I am really happy that I’ve moved to the community I have always wanted to live in.” Have fun with it and then put it next to your bed or fold it up and put it under your pillow. Read it every morning when you wake up and every evening before you go to sleep. Watch how things begin to unfold for you in ways you never thought possible.
· Look for the positive in a negative situation. Ask yourself; how have you grown from this situation. Have you learned new skills? Do you have more time now to do some of the things you love? Maybe some writing, exercising or gardening? Maybe learning meditation to keep you centered or doing some inner exploration. Perhaps begin reading books on recreating yourself. Think about positive skills that you can put to use and maybe even start your own business. Think about what motivates you. What have you always loved to do most?
Use this down time in a productive way, keeping your thoughts positive. Is there anything that you have done that you feel proud of? Shift your negative thoughts to the positive by thinking about what you are grateful for. Write some positive affirmations and keep them in a journal or by your bed. An example would be: I am grateful for my family and friends, they are there for me. Another one might be: I am grateful that I have my health and I can walk every day.
If you get lost in self-pity it will keep you stuck and you may not even see an opportunity that is right in front of you. You may not be able to change your situation but you can change the way you respond to it. You may need time to cry, grieve your losses, feel your feelings but don’t allow it to keep you from looking at new possibilities. Having to re-create yourself is hard at any age and letting go of who you were will take time. If you feel suicidal make sure you talk to someone, a therapist, a friend. Get outside in nature if you can, take daily walks. Nature is a powerful healer whether you are just out with your camera taking pictures, walking in the woods or sitting by a stream you will find a peace that you won’t find sitting at your desk fretting or waiting for the phone to ring.
· Be careful with your thoughts. Notice what you are telling yourself. If you hear a lot of negative self talk and what if statements like; what if I never get another job or what if I lose my home and become homeless. “You” are thinking those thoughts and your subconscious is taking that all in. The subconscious is like a computer in the mind and it stores those thoughts. You will begin to realize that your anxiety comes from what you tell yourself and what you tell yourself has a great effect over your life. You can shift your thoughts and the way you “think” about things. If life isn’t going the way you want; you can work to change it through your thinking. Watch what you tell yourself. You will realize that you are making yourself anxious. You can decide more often to accept what is, to accept life as it comes. Allow yourself to give up some of what you think you need, the demands you put on yourself. Stop the “what if” thinking. What if this; what if that. It only takes you into the future or the past. Get rid of the “musts” and “shoulds” in your life. You don’t have to make yourself upset It is the way that you think about things that feeds your anxiety. Say to yourself, “I am in control of me; I don’t have to upset myself about anything. I can’t control everything in my life, so I give up the control.” Trying to control everything makes me unhappy and anxious. I am deciding to have a good day. Allow yourself to say “so what” once in awhile. Most things that we think never happen to us anyway so wouldn’t it be more productive to store positive thoughts and affirmations in the subconscious for it to work off of instead? Ask yourself when you hear negative self-talk if it is true, how realistic is it, will it matter in 2 years? By writing about it you can shift your thinking and it will make you feel better. The truth is that positive thinkers have a better time with life than negative thinkers. Positive thinking doesn’t mean expecting everything has to be perfect all the time. Positive thinking is a mindset that keeps you going even when things don’t go your way. It makes sense that you will feel better about your life and even your bad breaks; if you can put a positive spin on things instead of focusing on the most negative and disappointing aspect of every situation. Simply put, it is a healthier way to be. Studies show that positive thinkers tend to have healthier immune systems than pessimists. They live longer and have happier lives. Look at tough times as an opportunity to learn, grow or improve your situation.
· Remember time heals all things. There will be a tomorrow, a next month and a next year. Maybe by then, things will have changed for the better. Think about all the good things you’ve experienced, felt, and achieved in your life and think about how many more great things could be waiting ahead. You don’t need to stop yourself from feeling the joy. Even in tough situations, it’s important to smile and laugh here and there, to enjoy your family and friends. Let yourself enjoy life even if it’s a difficult time. It has been said, you only live once, why not make the best of it.
By Mariah Shipp CCH, CAC
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