Take a deep breath and carry on
Is work or life in general getting you down? Are we being lulled into a mode of just being 'grateful' for having a job? No-one said it
was going to be easy. Marc Kirby at Reading-based Stress Management Plus has advice on how to deal with difficult situations.
Jobs are hard to come by and maybe some employees are lulled into a mode of feeling they should be 'grateful' for having work? Are we sweeping issues under the carpet that would normally be raised? Stress management specialist Marc Kirby advises that when things get tough there are some good strategies to employ:
How would someone I admire be handling things? This is someone you look up to, either a famous person or a friend or relative. Think about what they would be doing and how they would be acting, and try and do the same.
Best friend advice
What advice would I give to my best friend in the same situation? This enables us to take a 'third party' or detached view of things. It is helpful too as we like and respect our best friend and we won't beat our best friend up in the way we do ourselves, sometimes.
Ask: 'Is this situation under my control?'
If it's not, let it go, this is a way of taking control. This is easier said than done I know, especially when something is terrifically important to us. We do take back the power though if we can acknowledge and identify that some things are beyond our control.
What would an optimist be doing or saying? Try and think how they would think, and do what they would do. This isn't about kidding ourselves that everything's alright, despite the evidence. It is about not letting negative thoughts and behaviours hinder our progress and wellbeing. Optimism will help us to deal with setbacks, and good things are more likely to happen.
Don't be a victim
When life is hard, a lot of us will turn to self-pity as a kind of defence mechanism. This is of course perfectly natural and acceptable and understandable. We must not let this become our default setting as it can hamper us in dealing with adversity and getting the most out of situations. Feeling sorry for yourself short term is generally okay. Feeling sorry for yourself long term is generally not okay
Try a relaxation technique
How good are you at breathing? If we breathe deeply, from the diaphragm, it helps us to relax and it is difficult to be tense. With this type of control we are more able to deal with life and to think rationally and clearly. We're also more likely to be healthy physically.
It's good for you psychologically, it is good for your brain and it helps with concentration, memory and learning. You don't have to go to the gym each day, just build in some walking or other exercise for 15 to 20 minutes every day.
Do what makes you feel good
This is important especially if you used to do things you enjoyed which you've now stopped doing. As long as it's legal and your enjoyment isn't harming anyone else. Do the things that make you feel fulfilled and happy. Life is too short not to and you'll end up being a better parent/professional/married person if you are relaxed and happy.
Go easy on yourself
Do not give yourself a hard time when you make a mistake or things go wrong. If it spurs you on to re-double your efforts and go again, then fine. Otherwise, it's a waste of time and energy, and is de-motivating and tiring. This is especially so when you've made that particular mistake just the once: you are only human.
Tell yourself you can do it
Sometimes we lack persistence and give up when we encounter a hurdle. If this is you, remind yourself of the times when you were successful, of the good things that have happened and will be happening to you and that you have been and can be resourceful. That way, you'll approach and deal with situations more effectively. Be encouraged by the fact that the more you practice not giving up and being persistent, the better you'll get at it and eventually it will come naturally. I believe you can do it and I want you to have faith in yourself too.
For more on this topic, contact Marc Kirby on 0118 900 1652 or visit:
This article appeared in Peeblesshire News 14 Sep 11
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