Imagine someone telling you that you had just received a life sentence and a constant state of positivity was the ‘punishment’.
What would you think or do? Well maybe that state of always feeling wildly positive would be alien to you. Maybe your default position every single day is always cautious negative or an ‘oh my god, oh no’ attitude to every little thing.
That used to be my world view, not such much negative, rather tired and anxious about every little thing. If a problem was looming, I would have sleepless nights over it, waking up at 3am in a state of panic, not sleeping again until the dawn broke, hating each day for my inability to navigate life and all its niggling issues.
But I’ve changed. And I’d like to help you change too. By that I mean, not change you as a person but offer you some insights into a calmer existence. Believe me, I’ve been through it all. Here’s a little list: deportation, poverty, single parenthood, debt, custody battles in court, death of loved ones, unemployment, ill health, depression, sexual harassment by others, abuse, near-rape, fear, rejection, powerlessness, voicelessness, chronic exhaustion, despair.
OK, now for the positive stuff.
It might sound like a bit of a Pollyanna way of being, but think of this. Life really is beautiful. Think of nature, of sunsets, of azure blue skies and the ebb and flow of the seas and you’ll know that life is beautiful.
Think of love, the feeling you get when you hug a person dear to you, the endorphin rush, the warmth, the smiles within you, the peace and calm you feel.
Think of tiny successes each and every day; walking an extra half-mile to work, eating more vegetables and fruit during the day, getting a good night’s sleep, seeing a smile on a family member’s face when they are going through a really hard time, keeping to your financial budget, saying to yourself ‘I am going to unplug from the online world tonight and have a long relaxing bath, then go to bed with a good book’ and you achieve that.
These little successes build happiness. Watch it all grow like a flower.
But where to start when you’re facing a seriously huge mountain of problems, a situation I have been in many times in my life. I advise the following:
Revisit your diet. If you’re addicted to sugar and carbohydrates like bread and pasta, try to stop these. Dropping carbs from your diet works miracles, but take responsibility for yourself as I am not a doctor. It works for me, that’s all I can say. Dropping highly processed foods from my diet made me able to see more clearly about things. It doesn’t take long too. Just 24-hours on a non-processed food intake and your mind clears miraculously.
Then, ask yourself a few questions: what is the most important thing to do today that will help this situation? It might be going to the Citizens Advice Bureau or its related help service in whatever country you’re living in, and ask them your rights and if they can help you navigate the storm. They will. The CAB is brilliant at advice. That’s what they do, and you have rights, whatever you might think.
If your problems are more health related, try the food thing or go back to your GP and get some advice. Never go it alone. Speak to a family member or if you have no one special in your life and feel totally alone, contact me here and I’ll listen to you, offer my words of wisdom. Or if you don’t like that idea, go to your local place of spiritual worship, whatever religion you are, even if you’re not religious, women and men of religion can offer free and impartial help to any person, whatever their faith. It’s their duty to help members of the community. I was bought up in a semi-Christian family but I am not religious. However, I have often gone to the local church and spoken to the local minister when things have gotten too much, and they have always helped, always supported me, even though I never attend church and consider myself anti-organised religion, despite knowing that religion helps many people.
Hugs to you all, Jo xx