By Donna Shea & Nadine Briggs
I (Donna) recently experienced a loss of what Nadine and I refer to as our “sparkle.” That positive vibe that we bring to life and the resilience skills that we both have honed over the years. Life hasn’t been a piece a cake for either of us, but we are usually pretty adept at waiting for the tide to change and solving whatever problems come our way.
I found myself over the last few weeks of summer and all through September having what I think of as “sewer thoughts.” I’d think about one of the multiple things that haven’t been going well recently, and then my brain would just go down the drain and pile on more and more rotten thoughts. I felt a loss of hope, a deep dislike of humanity, and anger that came from what I could see as solvable problems, but one’s that I had absolutely no control over. It came to a head when I found myself oversharing my sewer thoughts in a completely inappropriate social setting. That was a wake up call that I needed to do what I coach all of our young clients to do, find a way out of the sewer.
How do you do that? In several blogs, we’ve talked about the basics of positive psychology. Be grateful. Look for the good. Understand what you do and do not have control over, and make decisions based on what you have to work with. Positive psychology is not all about sunshine and unicorns. It is a way to maintain your grit and mental health when everything in your sphere seems to be playing against you. Put your own mental health ahead of what issues are attempting to suck you into the sewer. Do what you can do, and let go of what you do not have control over. Don’t get me wrong, there is sometimes sadness and loss involved with letting go, but processing sadness is much better then becoming stuck in the sewer.