Wednesday, February 24, 2021

How to Overcome Disappointments by Redirecting Your Focus

Living with a mental health condition is very challenging. As an individual living with schizoaffective disorder I must be mindful of my stressors, thoughts, and social needs. Setbacks are disappointing, but they are a part of life. For instance, having a hospitalization, getting rejected, being discriminated against, experiencing self-doubt, and coping with disappointments that lead to changes can be stressful. 

    Most people will not understand individuals with mental health concerns because of varying perceptions on the symptoms. Moreover, widespread misconceptions drives fear, lack of education, and discrimination, that perpetuates barriers to socialization, treatment, and understanding. It is imperative for us to develop alternative skills to maneuver and manage the difficult times. I encourage peers to focus on confidence-building activities, which I will share. Also my tips will help people who do not have a diagnosis. Here, I will focus on 7 habits, which will help you develop self-validation and improve your mental health.

1) Concentrate on reciting affirmations and reassuring statements. This is one of my most powerful habits because this activity creates excitement and hope. Life is full of ups and downs, therefore, it is important to motivate yourself to press onward.  Reciting affirmations rejuvenates your ability to hold on to hope. Stating positive thoughts and objectives aloud or writing them down will manifest inner-strength and belief in one's ability to move forward. I identify as spiritual and believe that words can dictate the energy and develop into a reality. Therefore, I encourage you to say uplifting things. For me, I might repeat the following statements: “I have the spirit of strength on me today. I am bold. I master resiliency.” “I welcome the spirit of love. I give and receive love. I will embrace love by focusing on loving gestures today.” “This is only for a season. I have support. I am an overcomer. I am fierce. I have power over my reactions and I can get through this.”

2) Meditate on your higher power. Redirecting thoughts onto the power that oversees your well-being, and has a greater influence on life events, will help restore a sense of peace. I encourage you to develop comfort through your belief system. What stories solidify your beliefs and connects you? Which religious or spiritual sayings can you recall that resonates with you and propels you to keep going?

3) Embrace your support system. It is imperative that you surround yourself with empathetic persons who want to see you do well. When in doubt reach out to that individual who acknowledges your efforts and strengths to help you persevere. In the past, I leaned on a wide variety of cheerleaders or supporters that went beyond my family. The people that helped me stay motivated to get back on track included: coworkers, neighbors, roommates, family and friends, etc.

4) Seek counseling. Exploring situations with counselors may provide reassurance. I advocate for therapy because it helps identify solutions everyday problems and stressors. The sessions focus on coping strategies. For me, I brainstorm ways to work through daily stressors with my therapist that is on relationships, financial priorities, or simply acknowledging my options, which I did not see before. The therapist can equip you with resources and skills to help you improve your situation.

5) Create a positive atmosphere. I enjoy producing positive vibes. Sometimes I buy myself flowers, greeting cards, and candles to create a comfortable environment. Frequently, I set the tone by listening to different music that speaks to my vibes.

6) Reflect and release burdens. Sometimes I write to let go of my stresses or stay active. I record my things to do list and journal about challenges. Other times I focus on organizing and cleaning my home because it helps me think clearly. I walk to regain physical energy and to also help prioritize ideas and needs. 

7) Bring your attention to positive messages. Listening to enlightening messages when you wake up can help you stay focused throughout the day. I study motivational speakers and recall their messages of hope as the day progresses. 

    Over the years, we have endured a lot. Still, we are learning how to manage and overcome situations. I encourage you to continue to practice those lifestyle habits that work well for you. However, consider some of these tips to add to your daily routine in order to get through the day. 

    Again, incorporate some of these habits to overcome life's disappointments. 1) Concentrate on reciting affirmations and reassuring statements. 2) Meditate on your higher power. 3) Embrace your support system. 4) Seek counseling. 5) Create a positive atmosphere. 6) Reflect and release burdens. 7) Bring your attention to positive messages. Living with a mental health condition can create disappointing experiences, however, how you cope is more important. Lastly, focus on reassurance by developing those practices that builds the stamina in your confidence to get needs met and to continue to persevere through life's challenges. 

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