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Friday, 2 December 2016

Beating the darker times

In a rare and brief dalliance with daytime television today, I came across an interview with Terry Waite.

It was a name I hadn't heard of for many years, but one I had always remembered, because of this man's amazing strength and tenacity in enduring five years of torture and captivity at the hands of Beirut terrorists.

In the brief snippet on ITV's This Morning, this humanitarian and author was a true inspiration and the words he said that struck me most were these:

"If you allow anger to fester, then ultimately it will end up doing you more harm than those you feel the anger towards.."

In no way could I compare my own experiences to this outstanding man, but yet I realised that this powerful statement could apply to and help every single one of us. Even down to lesser circumstances, such as my dad's road rage and me telling him that only his stress levels would be affected by his rant.

The quote also applies to pain and the way we deal with it. If someone hurts you, whether intended or not, the only way to deal with it has to be to let it go.

Earlier this week my heart broke into many pieces and for a time my life went black (and so did my Facebook profile). Life felt pretty effing sh1t (yes my potty mouth diminishes drastically in the written word for some absurd reason).

But, quickly, I realised the negative contribution that allowing myself to hurt for long would cause. Yes, crying is good, releasing the pain is good. But, dwelling on it or allowing it to fester can only be bad.

So here are some of the ways I've picked myself up off the floor this week and hopefully they might help you feel a little more positive through the dark times too.

  • Exercise - (had to be first now didn't it). I still get a load out of the feel good hormones that exercises produces, so I upped my weekly workouts from three to six and felt better for it.
  • Be silly - act the fool, whether on your own or with friends. In my case it was doing a really silly, loud and crazy version of rockabye baby with my children. It made them laugh their heads off and me smile too.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to. Whether it's a night out at the weekend, shopping trip, or couple of glasses of wine at the end of the day.
  • Be nice - it's so easy to feel bitter, but hate and resentment only serves to make you feel worse more than anything.
  • Keep telling yourself good stuff. Be your own biggest fan. Find stuff that's good about you and keep reminding yourself about it, until you believe it.
  • Catch up with friends. Laugh, joke, have fun.
  • Be pragmatic - look at what you have got, rather than focusing on what you haven't and make the most out of it.
  • Get outside - yes, it's been flipping freezing lately, but wrap up warm and get out for a good walk, take some good, deep breaths and feel your soul cleanse.
  • Do something nice for someone. It always makes me feel better anyway.
  • Dance like no-one's looking. Stick on some crazy tunes and really go for it. Go on, you know you want to ;)
So what do you reckon? This is how I picked myself up this week and what I'm going to keep doing until the pain starts to ease and I don't have to think about how I'm going to feel good anymore.
If, like me, you've found yourself wanting to close yourself off in a dark room and cry your heart out for days on end, maybe try these instead?