« “A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” (Lao-Tzo) by Dr. John Manni, Psychologist
“Your Story is More Valuable than You Think.” by Doug Barton
August 2, 2011 by John Manni & Doug Barton
Job loss is seen by many as one of the most traumatic events one can experience. Like other impactful events, the negative effects can be overcome by employing different strategies. In previous blog posts we’ve talked about reframing negative thoughts into positive ideas, counting your blessings, exercising, making time to enjoy life, and other suggestions.
A while back, researchers at the Southern Methodist University discovered that writing your deepest thoughts and emotions about losing your job could be very helpful. Some of the benefits include a lowering of stress as indicated by reduced blood pressure, weight and heart rate. Medical science has known for a long time that sustained levels of stress can have serious health consequences. Expressing thoughts privately, that you might not feel comfortable discussing with others, can also help you “unload” the mental burden and keep you from ruminating about the situation.
Participants in the study wrote about a range of topics which included the emotions associated with problems of finding a new job, issues with family and loved ones, financial matters, how they felt the day they were let go, how they felt about their old employer and co-workers, and health concerns. These are good topics, but you’re free to make your own choice.
Give it a try. People in the study wrote 20 minutes a day for five days. (Researchers didn’t look at writing for different lengths of time.) We suggest that writing your thoughts and emotions whenever you get bogged down will be helpful. Of course, if you can talk to a loved one or friend bout your feelings, that’s better still.