Keeping a sense of perspective during recession
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Toby Ingham MA UKCP BAPPS
19th March, 2009
It’s hard to look at the news without being drawn into gloomy stories of financial downturn, uncertainty and difficult times ahead. We can look at the trouble in the City and think that the wealthy bankers in our communities are getting their comeuppance after all these years of fat bonuses, yet we are all touched by these things.
It is true that people who became used to ongoing success are now facing job losses and premature ending of careers. But really we are all facing rising costs of living and uncertainty in the job and housing market. It is easy to be upbeat during booming periods of success but how do we handle the sombre moods and stress that is part of worry and failure? How do we find our way through these times without becoming engulfed in the sense of doom? It seems as though everything is changing as the chill winds of autumn gather around us.
Can we find a way of developing a sense of perspective? Can we locate a sense of value not in house or share prices but in ourselves? It is understandable to feel deeply worried about money. Of course we are scared. But we need to retain a capacity to think and to see beyond these things.
It might help if we keep in mind that it is generally when we are faced with serious adversity that we find qualities of strength in ourselves that we had forgotten, or never knew we had. It is often precisely at these times in our lives that we can rediscover the tremendous power of our resilience and adaptability.
Being scared and worried is very unpleasant. When we feel like this we may become worried and ashamed, we stop talking to each other, and this serves to make us more isolated and vulnerable. Feeling we must manage our anxiety alone tends to increase our fear and depression.
It might help if we can remember that we are not alone, that other people are facing these anxious times too. If we can find ways to talk to each other we may give ourselves the chance to develop perspective, and as we do so we will adapt and find the strength to face and survive these worrying times.
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