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Two things to do when emotionally not coping

Written by Lisa

When going through a tough emotional time, what are the two things you must do? We guide and teach kids so they are resilient and aim keep things in perspective, but fail to adhere to it ourselves at times.

When going through a tough emotional time, what are the two things you must do?

We guide and teach kids so they are resilient and aim keep things in perspective, but fail to adhere to it ourselves at times.

It was with sadness that some of my friends have been off the radar over the last 18 months.  I have touched base on a shallow level, through texts and facebook, but not really caught up physically to have a really good chat. I have thankfully been able to make more contact, and it seems they have been going through their own personal challenges, and hence not felt like being socially interactive. These are 3 separate people in my life going through different issues, all coping in a similar way.

On hearing their individual stories my heart goes out to them. They can operate at work, but once the front door closes and they are home, they are truly not coping. Self medicating with alcohol, cutting themselves off from their friends, and really in a very deep hole where their focus is on what has been going on.

Given that they are long term friends we have a trust. I was able to listen with genuine interest and through my personal experiences and trainings, I was able to offer some possible suggestions to help them through.

What I found myself saying in the conversations were exactly the words I use with my pre-teenagers.  And there were two main things that we kept coming back too.

1. We have to let go of the things we have no control over.

What happens can be sad, frustrating, infuriating, incomprehensible or just plain wrong!  And yes they are that, and yes it hurts and yes it takes up room in our thoughts.

What has caused these feelings will usually be a person or persons or series of events.  These have already happened and cannot be changed.

The question is, can we change the situation going forward for the better?  If it is all out of our control, then we must let go of the angst and thoughts.  We must not focus on those parts of the picture.  Our thoughts must be on what we do have in our lives, and any small positives that are still there with the situation.

Why spend our thoughts on things we have no control over?  It’s not about the other party, it’s about our own wellbeing, and we need to not let the other people or situations wear us down.

2. We have control of our thoughts.

There is a great program run by  Claire Eaton in Perth aimed at tweens.  It is about having an imaginary horizontal line.  On that line is the word ‘choice’.  Everyone has thoughts above the line (positive and happy), and everyone has thoughts below the line (sad, angry, negative), and that is ‘normal’.  The proportion we have above and below is what varies between people.

We can choose where we sit in relation to that line, for how long, and how we move between them.  It is about consciously recognising where we are sitting, and where we go from there.

You know when on one day something happens and we react one way, then the same thing can happen on another day and we react differently, depending on how we are feeling.  The other person doesn’t control how we react,  we effectively control/choose how to react.  We can make a conscious decision to not let the sad or angry feelings beat us.  We know there is an alternate way to feel, but only we can do this.

I am definitely not saying it is easy.  When we are down it takes a huge effort to get ourselves more positive, but the alternative is not good for anyone, including ourselves.  There has to be a shift in one’s thinking, there has to be acknowledgement of the thought, and a drive to take the step up to move closer to that line.

The universe will always throw challenges at us, some more intense than others.  It is up to us how we respond to these times. Hoping when you are faced with such challenges, whether that be about children, money, health, relationships or other issues that you are able to continually reflect on the above two prophesies.

If you are having issues with younger children or relationships, Cherished Cherubs Babysitting may be able to give you the space to help resolve these problems. Book on www.cherishedcherubs.com.au. They also work with a lot of support services around Perth so call us on 0417 927 525 if you need some guidance.

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