Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Time to think positively, that’s the attitude that can move mountains. It’s what we tell ourselves, when life has knocked us down. We all have our challenges we need to overcome and it comes in many different forms. I welcome them and I feel strongly that it helps to build character, exactly the type of values I want my kids to learn and understand. If us parents demonstrate negative behaviour in front of our kids, it will more than likely start to rub off on to them.
"There are coping mechanisms we can implement to achieve positive outcomes for ourselves"
Achieving our goals can put the wind in your sails, but we can sometimes become complacent, thinking we have it all sorted. At my tender age of 40, yes I meant to say tender! I’ve seen how quickly we can falter, it switches on you like the turn of a tide. You then come to realise that it can all crumble in an instant, brought on by worldly things you may think will never affect you. Keep calm and carry on! We humans have a wonderful way of managing things.
Here’s the thing though, you can only learn how to deal with challenges when you’ve experienced it for yourself. I’ve been made redundant from my job, twice, and it was hard the first time, because of the uncertainty that comes with it and it was a new type of dejection I’ve never experienced before. I always felt like I was the ruler of my own destiny, but when someone imposes their choices over you and it impacts your life, you quickly realise that sometimes, no matter how hard you strive, it can kick you in the proverbial and quickly suck the wind out of your sails.
Be strong we say - It’s words we utter, but in practice it’s hard to live up to for some. Just like Newton’s third law states, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction - my reaction to losing my job, again, is to stay positive - It’s not a new experience for me anymore, in fact I’ve learned to become better at dealing with it. I’ve done many things to bring positivity and happiness into my life, including turning to faith, but I also feel strongly that there are coping mechanisms we can implement to achieve positive outcomes for ourselves.
"Allow yourself to enjoy some laughs, it will help to make things feel less difficult"
Here’s how I approach it -
Focus on positive things - Obstacles will always be thrown at us. Yes, I’ve lost my job but it’s given me the opportunity to write a blog! We need to celebrate the little wins no matter how small it is. Every cloud, as they say.
Show some gratitude - Try and express gratefulness to someone for bringing you some kind of comfort and joy. It could be something small like a loved one doing a little chore for you or a friend that does you a favour. You’ll be surprised how much it can help to improve your self esteem.
Don’t take yourself too seriously - It’s hard not to avoid the problem you might be facing, but if we focus too much on solving that problem it could easily consume you. It’s widely known that laughter can help to lower stress levels, it can also help to lift your mood and again improve your self esteem so allow yourself to enjoy some laughs, it will help to make things feel less difficult.
Be Around Positive People - Misery may like company, but it breeds negativity. If we only focus on the negative things, we won’t allow ourselves to be positive. I can’t stress enough how important it is to surround yourself by people that have a positive influence on your life and turning to people that can bring upliftment will help you to see the bigger picture.
Start Every Day In A Positive Way - I have a little routine every day, because I recognise that having a structure to my day helps me to cope better. This will be different for everyone, but below are some suggestions -
Start your day early, it’s usually not a problem for those of us with kids anyway, but try and wake up early if you are not already doing this.
Have a good breakfast - Some of us may have developed a habit of skipping breakfast, but I firmly believe this is the most important meal of the day. You can’t expect to achieve much in your day if you haven't fuelled your body.
Do some exercise, maybe some stretching, go for a walk, run, whatever works best for you, but do something active that engages your mind and body.
Turn to your spirituality, whichever form that comes in, it could be religion, you could start with some meditation or read something that is inspirational for you.
These things have helped me to stay positive when things become a bit challenging, hopefully it can help you to approach things with a more positive outlook.
If on the other hand, you're feeling consumed by negative thoughts and are having trouble controlling your emotions, then see a professional. You may benefit from receiving medical advice. Constant negative thoughts can be caused by an underlying mental illness that may require treatment.
Here are some charities you can reach out to if you need help coping with mental illness.
Youngminds - Mainly focused on children and adolescents - Parent Helpline 0808 802 5544
Mind - promotes people with mental health problems
No Panic - helps people with all kinds of anxiety disorders
Papyrus - Call: HOPELINEUK 0800 068 4141 for prevention of suicide
Rethink Mental Illness - Offers help and advice