There is evidence based research which has emerged in the last 10 years to show the incredible benefits that positivity can have on our lives. Positivity is like a nutrient rich soil, it is the foundation for healthy growth be it for flowers or for building personal resilience. It’s easy to maintain a positive outlook when things are going well but when unexpected changes hit is, feeling positive seems like a daunting task.
My spouse was told this week that due to re-structuring he will be losing his job of 17 years. For individuals struggling with anxiety like me, stress and change can be triggers. I spent much of the first 24 hours in a mild panic attack. Constant heart palpitations, inability to sit still or sleep and a whole lot of fidgeting. Looking at the situation with a positive lense was completely out of the question, my brain was more interested in thinking about worst case scenarios.
After a day had passed, it provided me with some time to accept this news and to re-visit my reactions. Times of stress and change are when we need positivity the most. My feelings of anxiety were valid and appropriate but ultimately useless. Feeling anxious about a situation does not change the outcome, nor does it provide any helpful solutions. I have made a concious effort to re-frame the situation and focus on the positives. Here are the ones I’ve come up with so far:
- We are fortunate to have a connection to lawyers to review documentation (as luck would have it the lawyer we could connect with had a conflict because they represented the company that laid-off my spouse) so this is no longer a positive. Pretend you didn’t read this bullet point.
- We have good friends that check in with us and support us
- We have caring family that checks in and supports us
- The severance will provide my spouse the opportunity to pursue work that is more meaningful to him
- I am now the sole provider of financial stability for the family…. surely the jokes will be endless and the laundry regularly done.
Perhaps not the lengthiest of lists however one cannot put enough emphasis on the importance of finding work that provides meaning and value to our lives.
Re-framing our perspectives provides comfort and contentment to otherwise stressful situations. Change your mind, change the outcome.