It is safe to say that the last nine months of my life have panned out a little different than intended. I never imagined that I would be made redundant from a job I had had for twelve years, or that I would loose someone so very dear to me, or even that I would have to accept that relationships I valued highly were not as cherished on the other side.
Life, at times, is simply a hell of a rollercoaster of emotions and obstacles that we have to try to ride without falling off.
Its not easy. At times, when you feel the lowest, when the situations thrown at you just seem too much to get through and when people cause you pain, it is very hard to keep a positive mindset. It is very easy to want to give in, to curl up and ignore everything and everyone. But we all know it is not healthy.
For me, as always, trying to remain positive during turbulent times is such a struggle. Trying to think ahead, to think of the bigger picture and remember there are things we simply have no power over requires such strength, when you are most likely at your weakest.
But I now am determined to step off my emotional rollercoaster, to channel my emotions into positivity and continue to drive forward, to carry on my adventures.
And in doing so I consider ways I strive to achieve and at the same time help other to do the same.
- Stop! Think! Try not to get carried away by emotions. Take a moment to think about what the emotions are, what are causing them and what can be done to alleviate these emotions and keep them in check.
- Consider the bigger picture. If the situation that is causing your emotions to surge is something you can change, what can be done to take control? Look at the situation in a different perspective. A few weeks after being made redundant, many close friends and family said “think of this as an opportunity.” And it was, I wanted to leave the company for years anyway, so being made redundant gave me time. Time to look for something else, to start a new chapter and most importantly it gave me time in the summer to spend with loved ones.
- Acceptance. It is not easy to accept situations that cause us upset, grief and pain. However, until you accept the situation you cannot move on, you will hold on to negativity. We have to accept there are things we cannot change, and we just have to learn how to live with those feelings in a healthy way.
- Forgiveness. It is something we don’t like to give. It is something I personally have issues with. Forgiving those that have caused my pain, my grief and my emotional turmoil has been, and still is, hard as it coincides with my anger. You need to let go of the anger, so that you can forgive. Grudges, resentment and anger can be so incredibly toxic. We need to let go of the toxic energy. Forgiving people, even if you don’t physically tell them you forgive them is so much better for both mind and body.
- Listen to your feelings. Even if you do feel ready to step off your own rollercoaster, that doesn’t mean those feelings will never arise again. When they do, stop and listen. Listen to yourself, think about why you are feeling that way and find someone to talk to. Find something that will help you work through the feelings. I have always found great solace in exercise. No matter how upset I am, zoning out running or spinning has always been a great stress reliever. Going to the cinema is another – sitting in a dark room with a bucket of popcorn escaping in a movie is usually a excellent way to take time out.
- Focus on a positive mental attitude. If you feel yourself falling into your emotions tell yourself “I must remain positive.” Let go of the bad thoughts and negative feelings.
- Share. Our mental health is just as important as physical health. When those suffering do not share their feelings, their thoughts and their anguish it can be detrimental to their mental health. Suffering alone is not necessary. Share your feelings, talk to loved ones and if you really need it – seek professional help.
Through the most turbulent time of my life I have learned a great deal about my own strength, my own mental health and how important it is to surround yourself with those who are able to ride the rollercoaster with you.
Despite these hard times I have learned to find the ability to let go the negative, to forgive those who have caused anguish. I continue to channel my emotions into exercise to encourage mental well being.
And I will forever advocate for those who can no longer fight. To fight to remove the stigma surrounding mental health. To remind others that it’s okay not to be okay, but it’s not okay not to talk about it.
Let’s talk about it!