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  • Writer's pictureHilary Hofstetter, M.S.

IMAGINE the Possibilities

Therapy often involves reviewing our memories and deciphering how our personal history is affecting our actions, reactions, opinions and attitudes. We each have our own personal history and narrative on how we respond to the challenges life offers us.

For the first time in history,a world event has placed all of us in the same emotional stronghold of helplessness, anxiety and loss. How can we get UNSTUCK from this endless cycle of negative thinking?

A few thoughts to share:

  • Look ahead and imagine your ideal future and then think about small, doable, daily things that you can do to help you achieve it. Envision that future by starting small. Reestablish contact with an old friend. Reach out to someone you know who works in an industry you have always wanted to work in and talk to them about their job. Ask them to introduce you to someone who might give you a pathway to a new opportunity. Sign up for a free on-line tutorial on something you've always wanted to learn to do. That new skill could offer you some new options. Little things that could result in big positive consequences.

  • Record three or four positive events that might reasonably happen to you in the next 48 hours (for example, a new job opportunity, or even a text from an old friend). Get your mind "unstuck" from negative thoughts and think about positive things. Just imagining and recording them will shift your mind into a more positive place.

  • Set up "great expectations" by imagining a positive outcome to an event in your future. Are you dreading a future event, like going back to work or school? Write down your thoughts "I am dreading going to back to work," and then think through and write down a more desirable situation "I am going to have a better relationship with my co-workers because we will be more appreciative of one another and we have shared in this life challenge." Be as specific as possible. Your attention shifts from the negative to a more positive outlook.

  • Once a week, for 10 minutes write down ideas on how the events happening to us now may lead to doors opening to us in the future. Has working from home proven to your boss that it you could cut your office hours down in the future and work from home two days per week after the stay-at-home order is lifted? Has being laid-off helped you reevaluate your strengths and redirect you to a new possibility? This is the time to hit your internal mental "RESET" button.

Shift your perspective to the positive. You have nothing to lose except negative thoughts!

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