It’s amazing how different people can react to a problem. You can feel that you might be able to work your way out of it, or feel downhearted that things aren’t going to plan.
Having been with my children over the summer, I have come to realise that one seems to fall into the glass half-full category, and the other into the glass being half-empty. I hadn’t noticed it so much before.
Finding the good?
I am certain that we are not the only family who had “challenges” in spending so much time together, all at once. If I was feeling the pressure, my lovely daughter would often help me through by seeing the good. Her favourite expression is, “At least we have a house.” It might be a silly point that she would make, but I would laugh and realise that things weren’t quite so bad after all.
On the other hand, my little boy, who is younger, found there were times that his awful parents weren’t being reasonable at all. When we suggested that we might like to do an outside activity because it was a lovely, sunny day, the only thing he wanted to do was to go to a play barn. No, it couldn’t wait until it was raining tomorrow. He was never allowed to do what he wanted. And this was only a small disagreement. Believe me, there were others.
Pessimism, or optimism?
I think that noticing we are being pessimistic can be a first step. If we allow ourselves to wallow in the difficulty of a situation, it can be hard to find a way out. However, if we realise that we are thinking negatively, we might be able to sow a few seeds that we can hang onto to bring us round.
It’s like the scenario of feeling we have too much to do. I have mentioned before that I am a list person. Writing down what I have to do and crossing off what I have achieved can help me move from anxiety to feeling that I might be able to cope after all.
Of course, there are times when we wish our circumstances were different. On these occasions, accepting that we cannot change things rather than dwelling on how we would have liked them to have been can be a step forward.
Making little changes
Sometimes, talking through how we are feeling can make an enormous difference. We can talk our anxieties out and see our way through to a new path. A friend may be able to help us see that what we thought was the end of the world may just be offering us a change in direction.
I’m not sure where that leaves me with my small boy. I would love him to see the world as full of excitement and adventure, rather than that he is being stopped from doing things he would like to do. I will try talking his concerns through with him at the end of each day, and help him to find his own happy place.
How do you move from feeling anxious to a more positive outlook?
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