It is not uncommon to face different obstacles in your life that can provide great pain. Good mental health means that as human beings we are expected to work through them in a way that will minimize the negative impact on us.
Unfortunately no one taught us how to do this… Most of us have learned how to cope with strife, fear, and negativity through the "school of hard knocks."
You know how The Serenity Prayer says "God grant me the serenity to except the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
That principle can be instrumental to good mental health. It is a great teaching tool to remind us tha the only thing we can control is our attitude.
So if you are someone who is suffering from a tough situation like the loss of a loved one, a divorce or loss of job, it is imperative that you ask yourself "how might I be able to control the situation in my own mind to minimize the negativity and impact?" This requires that you ask yourself 'What good can come out of the situation?" Or you can reframe it in a way that allows you to normalize it.
I once lost a very important opportunity to write a column. The publication was downsizing and I was among seven freelancers who lost their columns. I knew it was nothing I had done but I felt great loss because I connect to people through my writing. I remember telling another columnist…" We had a great run with our columns." She shared with me how looking at this experience as a temporary one helped her to reckon with the fact that we needed to appreciate the time we had with that… And it helped her to deal with her loss and feel good about the time we spent writing for the publication!
Sometimes we end up having to deal with negative people who can make us feel bad about ourselves or responses to things. I always remind my clients that "No one can make you feel anything without your permission" and it is your choice as to how you respond to the situation. The gift is that you can very clearly decide what you are going to take on as your issue and what you're going to discard. I encourage clients to remind themselves that when someone is negative… It usually is about them. This empowers my clients to feel free to be who they are…to look at how they may have contributed to a situation… and to let go of the rest.
Is there somebody that is consistently negative in your life? Do you wish you could change them or the situation? Is there a way for you to change your thinking so that he or she does not impact you in a negative way?
You own the power to let negativity roll off and to view your circumstances in a new light!
This information was likely not given to you as you grew up so it's important that you retrain your brain to look at life differently and find people to support you in your quest for serenity.
The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer
Live An Extraordinary Life by Cheryl Richardson and Louise Hayes
When Things Change, Change Everything by Neale Donald Walsch
Just One Thing: Developing A Budda Brain One Simple Practice At A Time by Rick Hanson
Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW PCC is a psychotherapist and personal life coach. SHe does motivational speaking and empowerment trainings locally and nationally. To find out more about her services, contact her at www.carolthecoach.com or call her at 317-218-3479. You can watch Carol the Coach segments on WTHR's Channel 13 Wednesdays at 12:50PM.