Disrupt life’s disruptions
If you find yourself overwhelmed by tasks and projects then you can use this exercise to train yourself to think more positively. Simply adjusting your perspective can help turn around even the most challenging situations and help you avoid the very stress that can lead to a flare up.
Exercise – Explore how you can better cope with life’s unexpected disruptions.
- Make a list of the demanding situations you’ve faced over the last year or so. How did you handle the situation, both in the moment and over time? Did your close friends and family notice something was wrong? Were they able to support you? If you kept everything bottled up, did that create a whole new set of problems?
- Give yourself a score ranging from one to five for how well you coped. If you’ve given yourself top marks for everything, you probably don’t need to do the exercise! If you haven’t given yourself top marks, then where do you think you fell short?
- Now make a list of the people you know who have experienced unimaginable reversals, problems and hardship, and who are now happier and stronger than before. As far as you know, what set of circumstances pushed them out in the problems they experienced and dealt with?
- To your knowledge, do they possess any qualities that you could learn from? Do not assume these are inherent character traits; it may have taken hard work for your friend to stay so resilient through such a tough time.
- Consider asking how they did it. You may be surprised at their answer – perhaps they sought counselling, meditated or joined a sport.
- Ask a friend to describe a time when you were also resilient. Allow yourself to appreciate the positive feedback and try to remember not only how you got managed but that you did eventually make it through.
Integrating the exercise
- If you are overwhelmed with a “big problem”, it can be easy to minimise the things you have achieved. Remember to take pride in your achievements even when everything isn’t going right.
- Set aside time to tell yourself one positive story every evening. Do not allow your mind to wander to your “big problem” and do not force yourself to be overly positive. Just reflect on the day’s small victories and try to appreciate the positive things you have in your life.
- It can be easy to get wrapped up in our most recent expectations and ambitions. So put your problem in perspective by having a conversation with your past self. What have you managed to accomplish and improve in the bigger picture? Would one-year-ago you actually be pretty proud of where you are today?
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