Have you lost your job? Are you one of thousands waiting for your time to come? Do you go into work every day wondering if this is the day? The epidemic of layoffs resulting from the worldwide economic recession is an alarming reality that we in the UAE are experiencing along with everyone else in the world. Anxiety. Confusion. Dread. These feelings have captured society. How will I pay the rent or my mortgage? How will I provide for my loved ones who are relying on me? Who will hire me now? How long before my visa expires and I need to leave the country? Will I go to jail because I can’t pay my bills? These are all-too common questions for those living here who have been laid off.
Stop for a moment and ask yourself: “Is my life over since I lost my job?” Maybe it feels like your happiness, prosperity, and wellbeing have been put on hold. I’m going to suggest something that may seem perversely optimistic: could this be the beginning of a better life for you that you never really allowed yourself to live and enjoy before? Losing your livelihood inspires self-reflection, forcing you to discover what is truly important. Maybe losing your job, which for many people is what defines them, could be the painful but freeing opportunity that forces you to develop a stronger understanding of: who you are, the true source of your happiness, and your inner strength that can be applied in all areas of your future, including career endeavors.
History is rich with examples of how mankind has survived despite daunting circumstances. I do not mention this to make light of your suffering. Our predecessors have shown us that the human spirit is resilient enough to keep going despite difficulty. Even though you are experiencing hardships from the loss of your job, you can overcome this with the audacity of hope, to borrow from the title of President Obama’s book. Be bold and daring; have the courage to find hope in the midst of great difficulty. You can find the solutions to your problems. You can shape your future into the image you desire. By following simple steps and having a positive mindset, the possibilities you can achieve in your life are endless.
TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE
You create your circumstances. Regardless of your situation, you have many choices you might not recognize. It is not what happens to you that shapes your life; it is what you choose to do with what happens to you that shapes your life. There are two components to our existence: the outside world which can’t always be controlled; and the inner life, an area over which you have full control. If you choose to master your mind and emotions, then what you believe, decide, and do will shape your destiny.
When you take responsibility for your life and what you choose to do with the circumstances you are in, your life will change dramatically. If you believe that you create your own happiness and you control how your life will turn out, you have the power to change it. Conversely, if you believe you are the victim of your circumstances and that you cannot control whether you are happy or successful, there is not much you can do to change your life. When you forfeit control of your life and rely on external forces like chance, you are essentially depending on luck, and you lose control. Your thoughts and actions are the forces that determine your happiness and success.
YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE
It is possible that our fate is predetermined. But when you realize that you have a choice in all situations, you feel an empowering sense of control that fills you with positive energy. When you realize that you always have at least two choices in every situation, you never feel compelled to do something you don’t want to do or forced into certain circumstances. You know that whatever happens, you always have the choice to either change it or else change your perspective of it.
Maybe you feel victimized and helpless because you lost your job. But you still have choices to make. For instance, what does being laid off mean to you? Are you less of a person? Of course not. Recognize this as the opportunity to find a more lucrative and satisfying job that will bring you greater happiness. Focus on the things you can control and effect change in those areas.
FOCUS ON WHAT IS RIGHT INSTEAD OF WHAT IS WRONG
At any moment in time, your reality is based on whatever you focus on. In other words, whatever you focus your attention on is what is most real to you. If you have been laid off, you can dramatically change how you feel by bringing your focus towards solutions instead of focusing on the problem. If you focus on why you lost your job or on how unlucky you are, not only are you creating feelings of desperation and worthlessness but you are also decreasing your ability to create positive solutions to your problems.
The power to change your focus lies within you. You have the power to create more constructive thoughts that direct you toward solutions and possibilities that are all around you if you choose to pay attention to them. The easiest way to change your focus is to ask yourself the right questions. The questions will automatically bring into your mind answers that help you move forward. Another way to change your focus is by considering what is right in your life instead of what is wrong. Appreciate your blessings. You will see that life about more than having your former job.
YOUR DIET SUPPORTS YOUR MOOD
According to Julia Ross, author of “The Mood Cure”, much of our increasing emotional distress stems from easily correctable malfunctions in our brain and body chemistry. These malfunctions are primarily the result of critical, unmet nutritional needs. Julia explains that there is a difference between true emotions and emotions that stem from malnutrition. Negative emotions like anger or frustration may stem from a nutritionally poor diet. Most doctors and health care professionals disregard the notion that our body contains all the chemicals needed to feel good. By understanding how to release those natural chemicals, you experience any emotion you desire. If you feel despair, anxiety, or depression, one way to create different emotions in your body would be to change your diet. What you eat impacts how you feel. Pay attention to how you feel after consuming a Big Mac, Coke, fries and a chocolate milkshake to understand that your body responds to what you eat. By tuning into your body’s needs, you can learn to feed your body the right nutrients that release positive hormones like dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin.
There is a temporarily satisfaction when you eat junk food, but that high only lasts for few minutes. Then it shifts in the opposite direction where you feel the real response. Besides creating negative feelings like guilt, depression and anxiety, junk food will overload your immune system, making it harder for you to cope with everyday bacterias and viruses that are around us all the time. Sustain a positive mood with whole, unprocessed, fresh food. You will not only feel an immediate sense of well-being, but your brain will be more capable of working out new ideas and solutions that support your life long-term.
EXERCISE AT LEAST 3-5 TIMES A WEEK
Every time you exercise you not only strengthen your immune system, build stronger bones, and a stronger body, but you also change your brain chemistry. Athletes become addicted to exercise because of the enormous amount of pleasure they experience during and after working out. In the same way that food changes how you feel, exercise can have an equally significant impact on your daily mood. Regular exercise has an immediate endorphin rush. Longer term, you feel more energized and confident about your body. Your sense of wellbeing and happiness increases.
USE VISUALIZATION DAILY
Visualization is one of the most powerful tools at our disposal. It helps us to create the life we want, feelings we desire, and helps us become the person we want to be. Your thoughts determine how you feel about yourself and the external world. There is no objective reality. Only your individual perception of what you think and feel is real to you. The statement, “you are what you think”, means that with your thoughts you become what you envision and you attract people and opportunities into your life. When you think of something, your brain releases the same chemicals and creates the exact same neuropathways as it would if you were experiencing that event in reality. The brain doesn’t know what is really happening and what you’re merely imagining.
Visualization programs your brain’s reticular activating system to be aware of anything that will help you achieve your goals. Your focus changes. You notice things in your environment that you didn’t notice before. Have you ever bought a new car and then notice how many people are driving the same car? Or have you experienced looking for something you wanted to buy for some time and then seeing it after a while seemingly everywhere? It is an example of how you reprogram your reticular activating system to let in the information you require at that moment. Visualizing activates your subconscious mind to create solutions to achieve your goals. You find creative ideas you never had before on how to achieve your goal.
Visualizing your goal makes it a concrete reality in your psyche as you see it happening in the mind. It creates a conflict in your subconscious mind between what you are visualizing and what you currently have. Your subconscious mind tries to resolve that conflict by turning your current reality into the new reality that you create in your mind. Imagining how you want to be will slowly affect your behaviour, beliefs, and self-esteem in ways that promote achievement of your visualized goals.
FEAR IS A FLASE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL
What is fear? Fear is an emotion that we create as a warning signal to something that could threaten our existence. Our ancestor felt fear when they faced physical danger like being attacked by an animal, threatened by bad weather, or threatened physically in some other way.
Today we experience fear almost every day. It is that feeling of fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) that creates stress in our lives. Stress is simply a modern word that describes a feeling of threat that is really not there, a threat that is made up in our minds.
People whose motivation is fear operate defensively against threats. Their existence is based on survival rather than creating a live worth living. During this economic downturn that is exactly how most of us are living our lives. We exist on survival mode rather than experiencing true joie de vivre. When we live in fear, that negative mental energy gets blocked in our bodies. We cannot focus on achieving any goals. Life becomes dreadfully survival-based rather than about enjoying how precious life is.
If you were rowing a boat across a river and you hit a rock, what would you do? The boat is taking on water. The current will take you downstream, not to the other side of the river. What would you do? Would you row faster to get to the other side, or would you stop rowing and start bailing the water out of the boat? Would you be overwhelmed by fear and incapable of make a positive decision to get to the other side? Or would you stay in control, rowing faster because you know you will get to the other side?
Most people would give up, which is short sighted. Their fear makes them lose sight of the end result. Is the boat really going to sink before you get to the other side? You may get to the shore before it sinks. Most people run their life in this manner. They give up because they fear failure.
Fear is nothing more than energy you create with your negative thoughts about the worst possible outcome. You can learn to turn the fear into positive energy simply by changing your thoughts. If you are now in a situation where you feel dominating your existence, ask yourself following questions:
- What is the worst possible outcome for this situation I am in right now?
- How life threatening is that possibility?
- On a scale of one to ten, what is the likelihood that I will experience that imagined worst outcome?
- What is the likelihood that I will experience a more positive outcome?
Direct your focus and thoughts towards that positive outcome. Visualization is very powerful when it comes to shifting your emotions. So imagining the best outcome will create completely different emotions in your body and thereby open the door to possibilities you might have overlooked.
It is not what we experience but rather how we respond to our experiences that shapes our life. If you look at your life as a journey full of learning opportunities that all contribute to who you are and who you will become, your outlook will change dramatically. There is no such thing as a bad outcome, only events that will in one way or another bring you to a higher level of appreciation and love for the miracle of life.
Written by: Helga Marin
Health Mind and Body
Tel Dubai 00971 50 5518482
Tel Iceland 00354 8458174