Thursday, December 13, 2007

When the going gets tough...

the tough get going. But how?

A friend thought a good topic for my next newsletter (check it out at ) would be: what to do, and what not to do, when things go bad, when stuff happens. Like losing a job, divorce, death of friends and family, and so on.

The first thing that came to mind was something I was reading about recently. Daniel Gilbert, in "Stumbling on Happiness" (a book for serious readers only) spends a fair amount of time talking about how resilient people are when dealing with traumatic situations. We're all familiar with the notion, which he also discusses, of personal growth occurring in the aftermath of tragedy.

So, step one, decide you're going to get through this and you might even be a better, stronger, fill-in-the-blank-er person as a result.

In addition to changing some of the thinking patterns we can get stuck in (see previous blog in November about Loss), there are other helpful steps to take.

Write about it. Write about feelings: good, bad and ugly. Write about thoughts: good, bad and ugly. Don't censor. Write what you think and feel. Sometimes this process helps move us through difficulties.

Talk about it. That's what friends are for. Don't tell me they're sick of hearing about it. They may be, but that's still what they're there for and, if the proverbial shoe was on the other foot, you'd listen to them, I hope.

Listen to people. Sometimes your friend, coach, therapist, even mother, has a good idea. Try to consider the input people give you and see if there's something you can use.

Do what works for you. Cope, by whatever means you usually cope. Exercise, clean, read, watch movies, listen to music, do anything that relaxes you, clears your mind, gives you a fresh start.

Try something new. Make a plan to move forward and try to get on with it. Keep moving even if you can only take baby steps.

Need more help? Try a coach or therapist.

No comments: