Exactly a year ago yesterday, I got to proudly participate in my first election as a U.S citizen after 16 years of residency ! How ecstatic I was to see a woman as the first female president of the U.S. with my vote. And how disappointing was the outcome... As a middle eastern immigrant woman who deeply cared about women influence and leadership, I was furious, disappointed ,and depressed beyond words.
I first thought of writing about the emotional charge of Trump election but something changed my mind...
For a minute I thought, what would be different? The outcome is what it is! Trump would still be the president... Why would I even be angry at him or at the people who voted for him or those who didn't vote for Hillary. I clearly don' t understand them and their point of view as much as they don't understand mine. Granted I never even listened to them because of my internal believes around who Trump is, his values, attitudes, etc...
So, instead of focusing on all that negativity, I decided to focus on being grateful and optimistic! Immediately I thought, optimistic for what? For having a orange headed, anti woman, anti immigrant, anti environment, anti almost any thing that I stood for? But what could I do... There are times that the only control we can exert is on our personal thoughts and not have the circumstances impact our daily routine.
These are 4 different strategies that can pump some positivity down your veins without suppressing what you might be feeling right now.
Whether you volunteer at a school or your local charity, get involved to broaden your perception of others and their difficulties in life. If you are constantly whining about life in general, volunteering at shelters or organizations that work with immigrant refugees can have a huge impact on creating internal appreciation. Plus it feeds our internal hunger for altruism.
2. Express your love:
Its normal during stress, we forget to express our emotions toward our loved ones. Whether you want to take out a pen and paper or re-purpose that kitchen chalkboard to a love board, express your compassion toward others. Have you heard that the simplest way to receive love is to be love? This simple habit can help you brighten others lives as well as yours. Today I wrote: " I love myself enough to focus on what matters to me." Empowering young women to be our future leaders!
3. Complaint-free diet:
During your day notice, what are 3 things you complain most about? Is it politics? Is it your boss? Your partner? Your uncooperative kid? Your lazy employee? Complaining sucks your energy, it gets you to focus on what is not working and reinforces it over and over again. It takes away time and energy that you could spend on being constructive. It’s a vicious cycle that you can break! Commit to a 3-week complain-free diet and see the result. Before starting, make sure you craft a consequence that gets you to keep your commitment. I had a client that chose to call a person that she couldn’t stand and talk to him for 15 minutes. After the second slip up, she stopped. You can donate to a charity that is against your values. In my case donation to a cause that our president supports: Reducing gun control!
4. Maintain a Grateful journal:
Add a new routine to your life! Every morning write about three things you are grateful for. Whether it’s simply a warm shower you had, a functioning car to take you to where you need to go, or a co-worker that you look forward seeing, notice it and be grateful for it. Revisit your journal during the day and feel free to add more especially if you are having a rough one! "Today, I am grateful for having a sexual predator as my president because it brought so much attention to sexual abuse!"
Which technique do you think might work for you the most?
Which one will you commit to today?
Regardless of committing to one or all 4, I hope your days will be filled with positivity and appreciation for yourself and others. I hope with your renewed energy, you continue creating the life you want and deserve for yourself.
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