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Elaine Fairweather

Table of Contents 10th September 2008, Issue #005

This Month's Article - Stay Confident when Coping with Disaster
Tip of the Month: Therapeutic Effects of Groaning!
What's New: Health Options come to the Website

Stay Confident when Coping with Disaster

No one leads a completely charmed life. It’s inevitable that there will be times when something goes wrong. Occasionally you may be faced with a serious challenge or find yourself coping with disaster.

The first thing is – don’t panic. Be aware that there is a challenging situation, but start telling yourself that you have the resources to cope. Some of these resources lie within, and some of them can be found outside you.

Internal resources

You will have coped before. Think of a situation that you got through in the past (even if it was a smaller challenge than the present one). Telling yourself the truth – that you have proved yourself strong and capable in the past – and that you will do so again, puts you in touch with your power.

Draw on spiritual resources if that is appropriate for you. Drawing on what you think of as a higher power can be helpful, especially when you feel overwhelmed and unequal to the task in front of you.

Nurture yourself. Step up the care and attention you give yourself. Even if you are strapped for time, listen to your needs more attentively. Make sure you get sufficient food, water, rest, recreation. Coddle yourself as much as possible. Accept the kindness of others too.

Stay in control by using positive, supportive, encouraging self-talk. Tell yourself that you are coping well. Avoid criticism or self blame.

Accept outside support

Turn to friends, family, church, work colleagues for support. Even in the face of serious illness or bereavement, people find the love, concern, thoughtfulness and the practical help of others makes a positive difference in their time of crisis. Allow others to help you.

Depending on the nature of the disaster, you may need the help of an expert. Find the right builder, specialist, legal representative, or other person to help you. Aim for someone who is qualified, but also sympathetic towards you. You can ask your supporters to give recommendations if you do not know where to start. Until you have found your expert, say to yourself something like ‘the right person is now becoming known to me’.

A case for being creative?

Some disasters can turn out for the better in the long term. Losing your job and the income it provides can be a severe challenge, but it can also be one of those turning points in life which, if you stay calm, you can take advantage of. By taking stock and considering new roles for yourself, or a different sort of environment, you may create a better situation than the one you’ve just left.

Your attitude of mind is all important here. You could spend all your energy feeling depressed or fearful OR you could think creatively and look for opportunities inherent in the situation. If you determine to find something better for yourself, you will.

When there is loss

Next to bereavement, the ending of one’s prime relationship can be the most devastating experience. Usually there is a period of mourning and painful feelings to be gone through. You might want to withdraw, but keeping in contact with friends and family, and perhaps others who have trodden the same path, can be invaluable at this time.

Instead of retreating into your shell, make entries on the calendar so that there is something to do and somewhere to go each day, that is separate from work. Breaking up one’s spare time with exercise, shopping or social activities helps to control the amount of thinking and brooding. Even when they are not enjoyed to start with and are effortful to do, the framework that activities provide is supportive, and will repay the effort involved later on.

Your car is wrecked

This actually happened to me once. My car swerved across the road in icy conditions and overturned in a ditch. I was pregnant at the time. It was a shock and a highly inconvenient and costly disaster since the car was completely written off, but it could have been a lot worse. Traffic could have been coming the other way. I could have lost my life and that of my unborn child.

It helped to acknowledge that I and my baby were safe . Being grateful for one’s blessings in such a situation helps to minimise the effects of disaster. This shift of emphasis makes it easier to cope.

Get into training

Dealing with minor irritations and the smaller challenges with a positive frame of mind, is good training for coping with disaster. Use them to practise your skills and draw upon your resources both within and from without, and you will be perfectly poised for staying calm and confident should a real disaster strike.

Welcome the minor aggravations in your life and begin to think of them as opportunities to grow and develop your coping strategies. When you develop your confidence in being able to manage in any circumstance, you will be able to trust in the process of life much more – which means you can get on and enjoy it more too.

This Month's Tip

I came across this worthy snippet of information just this week. It concerns the therapeutic effects of groaning! People have done it for centuries of course, but perhaps like me, you think of it more as an effect of pain, rather than a means of its relief.

Anyway, groaning is known to relieve physical and emotional pain. Ten minutes of it is said to release physical tension and feelings of pressure, relieve anxiety and create relaxation. You can lie down, sit or stand while you groan away – but do make sure you can’t be heard or you may find an ambulance at your door!

What's New

A whole new section on health is now up and running on the website. Read about how you can positively influence your health through the mind body connection, improve health and fitness with special tips, and speed recovery when you are ill with mental techniques.

Start building confidence in your body and in your health now.

I hope you enjoyed this edition of Self Confidence Secrets. If you would like to make comments, offer ideas, suggestions or give feedback, I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this zine and tell me what you think.

See you next month!


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