Nowadays it seems more and more people are dealing with anxiety, depression, anger, stress, hopelessness and the list goes on. The world can be a cruel place at times and if we are not mindful of what is going on with our own psyche it is easy to go below the line. When we talk about below the line we are looking at times when you feel any of the above. When you are above the line, you are experiencing: joy, love, happiness, grace, peacefulness, excitement, creativity and so on. The following are some of the more common below the line feelings and strategies to help you rise above!
- Psycho-Spiritual: feeling hopeless, disparity.
Rise Above-have faith! Have faith in yourself, in God or whomever or whatever you choose to worship or in humanity itself. Read books, watch videos that are uplifting, motivational, inspiring. Set small daily achievable goals. Achieving these smaller goals will help build your confidence to tackle large goals. These can be as simple as writing down: I will brush my teeth twice, then once you do it check it off. I will wake up and not hit snooze, I will drink X amount of water, I will eat X amount of fruits and/or veggies, etc…
- Environmental: crowds, noise, crime, pollution.
Rise Above-if you know you need to go to a place where it is crowded and/or there will be a lot of noise; focus on your breath before and during. Take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Make sure you have your belongings in a pocket, purse, etc… that you feel they are safe. Smile and be courteous and more people may be that way to you. If you are going somewhere that has a lot of crime, ask yourself if it is really necessary and if not, find another way. If it is, then focus on the “why” you’re going there and use that to help you overcome the stress. I suggest the same with going to an area that is polluted. In addition you may want to wear a mask and/or make sure with both you have it planned out as to what you need to do and then do it and get out.
- Social: abusive relationships, dispute with neighbors and/or co workers, family problems, rejection.
Rise Above- If you are in an abusive relationship (verbally and/or physically) get out. If you feel you can not, reach out to someone (a loved one, law enforcement, a therapist, priest, etc..) that can help. If you are in a dispute, try to take the time to listen to the other person’s side and refrain from yelling and getting emotional. If you are unable you may need to have a third party help mediate the situation. If you are constantly getting rejected, you should look at those that are rejecting you and determine if you’re the right “fit” for them and them for you. You may be looking in the “wrong” place or you may need to change how you act.
- Mental: lack of focus, indecisiveness, lack of “motivation”
Rise Above-I suggest you work with a coach. A coach can help take you where you want to go. If you can not hire or work with a coach, reach out to someone in your network that you feel is successful in that aspect of life and ask him/her to be your accountability partner. Write down your goals and why they are important to you. In addition write down what happens if you don’t achieve your goal. Start small and work your way up. Track your progress and celebrate all your “wins” no matter how small or big they are.
- Cultural: not being able to communicate verbally and/or in writing, not fitting in at work, at school and/or on a team, not knowing the customs of a particular group or place.
Rise Above-study where you’re going before you get there. If you’re traveling, study the language, culture, etc.. if you’re starting at a new job or in a new position, ask those that are there what the culture is like. Find a liaison and have him/her help you adapte. Ask your boss, coach, teacher or whomever the superior is what you can do to be the best version of yourself in that particular field and then get to work.
- Emotional: anxiety, anger, depression, grief, resentment, jealousy, hate.
Rise Above-Oftentimes anger and hate are a secondary emotion. Typically it is because you are hurt, sad, depressed and then you get angry. If you are feeling any of these emotions try and stop for 30 seconds before you say and/or do anything you’ll regret. Use this time to breath and focus on what is really bothering you and don’t be afraid to walk away and gather your thoughts before tackling the situation. Focus on gratitude, things that make you happy (but really focus on the feeling and visualize the place, person, situation) that makes you feel joy, focus on love. All of these can help you rise above.
- Financial: in ability to pay bills, financial insecurity, lack of job security.
Rise Above-write down where you’re spending your money and where you may be able to cut back. List everything. If you feel there’s nothing you can cut out, focus on your skills and what you’re passionate about and see there is a way to parlay either into a way to make some additional income. You may just need to go and find a second job or do something you are not necessarily fond of to help you get out of debt. If you’re feeling a lack of job security ask your employer what you can do to better yourself or look at what the top performers are doing and emulate those attributes. You may need to look at loan options or ask a friend or family member if things get to point and see they would be willing to not only help you financially, but help you understand how to stay out of financial hardship.