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Lemons Into Lemonade: How To Turn Negative Events Into Positive Expression

Lemons Into Lemonade: How to Turn Negative Events into Positive Expression

The fact is, many of us rely on creating to express our emotions. All of us on are especially familiar with this process. Creating to express our emotions in any form has potential to be a healthy and life-giving experience.

We can use art and creative writing as a means to turn our negative feelings into a reckoning for positivity. Here are some thoughts about negative experiences and how we can write them into a corner when they try to bully us.

The Dangers of Holding in Our Pain

Our culture glorifies the idea of holding in your emotions. Men are often called weak for being expressive, and women are called crazy for expressing their emotions in any way. Neither of these is fair, as emotions are simply a part of the human experience, and there’s nothing weak about admitting to what you feel.

Here’s the fact: suicide rates are on the rise. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the suicide rate in the United States increased 24 percent from 1999 to 2014. The amount of adolescents — and we are talking early adolescents — that contemplate ending their lives or do end their lives as a result of cyberbullying has increased as well. In a recent UK study, 26 percent of respondents had suicidal thoughts, as a result of cyberbullying.

We have to normalize emotions and offer people practical ways to handle their trials in life. Even social work professionals admit we need to start thinking out of the box. I propose one of the best outlets for pain is through creative writing.

Write It Off

There is something so satisfying about forming the perfect sentence to describe what you’re going through. As long as you’re doing it for you and not to impress others, I think being able to work hard on this transfer from mind to paper is therapeutic. By writing about your negative experiences, you can process them, and learn from them. If you’re comfortable with it — share and relate it to others.

Here are some suggestions to turn your negative experiences into lemonade, through the power of writing.

Poetry Exercises

Poetry, lyric writing, and the like are the best places to employ your artistic license, due to the common “show don’t tell” mentality that’s so popularized in these communities. I personally find it useful to use poetry prompts in order to challenge yourself. The point of doing these exercises is to force you to write down your thoughts in a different way than just “I feel sad” or “I am angry.” You also are usually writing less — but it’s harder to get a good flow going. It’s a new form of expression for a lot of freelance writers and similar creatives and can influence your other writings as well.

Descriptive Nonfiction

This is something I struggled with originally due to my past writing song lyrics with metaphors. I had to drop all of that — which I now consider being mostly fluff — and switch to describing the actual scenes around me. Descriptive nonfiction lives in “show don’t tell,” more strictly than poetry does.

Retell your story. Use color, shape, and other physical descriptions. How red was your face from embarrassment or hurt? What were other people doing? How they moved, their facial expressions, and how did their face change and move as well? What words were they using? Of course, “show don’t tell” can also make for a traumatic retelling of a hard time, so gauge yourself and see if you can handle it first.

Letters to Yourself

Years ago, during one of my first breakups, I found myself writing letters late before bed. These letters were addressed to me, oddly enough. I never called it journaling or felt like I was writing a diary. I was very clearly writing a letter. Even though I was the recipient of these letters.

Physically writing my thoughts down on paper felt like I was transferring my emotions — like they were physically leaving my body. This was one of my initial experiences with the therapeutic effects of writing, and since then I’ve used writing to help myself through other breakups, loss of friends and family, and stressful life events.

Freewriting

It has been said that “bad writing is good for you,” and this may certainly be the case in your situation. Freewriting offers the comfort of no restrictions – just straight up word vomit until you need to eat again.

Some find this to be a positive and freeing experience. It offers them a way to put some elbow grease into releasing their emotions, but they don’t have to worry about anything else. This isn’t typically the writing you show people, but certainly, you can if you would like. It’s your lemonade.

Get a Little Abstract

Use weird prompts and exercises — and by “weird” I mean unusual to you — to stretch your writing and give you new ways to express yourself. The thing with writing prompts is that they work like writing games. You have to use them to finish a piece based on rules and restrictions you don’t typically adhere to. Some of the most satisfying pieces of writing I’ve done have been based on odd prompts, and it always feels like a new way to express my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

How To Encourage Others

As I mentioned earlier, we need to normalize negative emotions. Make them something to talk about, and make it usual to talk about them. Let’s innovate a bit and give struggling people healthy and positive ways to handle their pain.

We must live by example first, because telling people to talk about their issues doesn’t shut out the voices — external or internal — that make them feel uncomfortable doing so. Being encouraging and transparent, ourselves, can do that.

Now, how much more as a writer can we share our experiences tangibly, especially with other writers? We all struggle with life, so writing them down for others may actually give them something to lean on, and maybe vice versa. Make your own lemonade from life’s hardships.

Ultimately, transparency begets transparency

With that in mind, let’s strive for honesty and humility with each other, so we can destigmatize depression, formulate it into something positive, be it through writing or whatever other form of creation you choose, and gain something from it rather than lose everything to it.

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How have you used writing or creativity to cope with bad experiences? Let me know in the comments below!

Author’s Bio

Avery T. Phillips is a freelance human being with too much to say. She loves nature and examining human interactions with the world. Comment or tweet her @a_taylorian with any questions or suggestions. Avery lives in the United States.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.

7 Tips to Keep Away Job Search Anxieties

job search

Seeking new employment is stressful. Regardless of qualifications, experience, finesse or other capabilities, searching a job causes anxiety and stress. It affects the overall performance of a job seeker at interviews, psychometric and other tests. It hinders personal life. Several factors contribute towards anxiety related to job search.

Defining anxiety and its types

The US government’s National Institute of Mental Health offers this astute definition of anxiety: “Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. You might feel anxious when faced with a problem at work, before taking a test or making an important decision. But anxiety disorders involve more than temporary worry or fear.

For a person with an anxiety disorder, the anxiety does not go away and can get worse over time. The feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. There are several different types of anxiety disorders. Examples include generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder.”

search related anxiety

Job search related anxiety

NIMH’s definition elucidates, job search related anxiety is occasional. It manifests during the entire span of job search process – from application to the first day at work. Anxiety levels are severe among unemployed yet qualified, experienced job applicants.

Fresh graduates have moderate job search related anxieties, a research in the UK reveals. Unemployed suffer more due to financial and social problems caused by joblessness. Uncertainty causes anxiety among fresh graduates searching jobs.

Job search related anxiety is lowest and almost negligible among people of all ages looking to change employers, due to financial and social stability they enjoy.

Lowering anxiety levels

Anxiety is healthy up to a certain degree. It helps job seekers remain alert, exert extra efforts and gain more skills to remain competitive.

Unhealthy anxiety has severe adverse effects. Job searchers may run into both of depression, mood swings, and unwarranted despair.

Left untreated, may lead to suicidal tendencies and prove fatal. Preventing deleterious anxiety is essential.

Step-1: Never fudge your biodata/ Curriculum Vitae

Embellishing biodata by adding or withholding details is the primary cause of job search related anxiety. The lurking fear of being found and disqualified worries most job seekers. People doctor biodata and CVs for two reasons. To show they are better qualified for the job over others, or, to conceal unpleasant facts.

An increasing number of employers now conduct background checks. Fudged details can be easily detected. To avoid anxiety during job searches, never embellish your biodata. Companies never look at your past and are least concerned unless it directly impacts them adversely. Employers are interested in what you can deliver.

Step-2: Apply while employed

Being unemployed can be very unpleasant. It causes financial, social hardships. People frown upon qualified persons who, for any reason, are unemployed. Pressures to maintain a fixed lifestyle with no guarantees of income causes severe anxiety among job seekers. Such anxiety can easily be eradicated.

Apply for a new job while employed. Doing so helps to maintain your financial and social status. You also retain the advantage of bargaining for better pay and perks with any prospective employer. If unemployed, draw a budget to buffer days without income.

anxiety

Step-3: Upgrade your skills

Whether working or unemployed, it is vital to keep your skills updated at all times. A new set of skills might not help your current employer. Yet, they give you an edge over other applicants for the same job.

Companies look for multi-taskers and employees with better soft skills. Knowing you are on a higher plane over competitors plays a big role in lowering and preventing job search anxieties.

Step-4: Stop praying for a job

Before screaming sacrilege, think yourself. Ceasing to pray for a job is essential to prevent job search anxieties. Nobody doubts the innate benefits of praying and dependence upon a divine power.

Prayers are encouraged at all times and are indeed healthy. For those spiritually inclined- remember, the divine power is responsible and promises to suffice your genuine needs.

Unanswered, delayed replies to prayers are known to cause immense frustration. Several applicants get habituated to incessant praying instead of focusing on realities required in the job market.

Step-5: Simulate work conditions

This is an ideal way to prevent anxiety during a job search. Unemployed or fresh job seeker, draw a schedule that resembles a typical working day. Wake up, sleep, have meals at fixed hours. Assign specific hours for job searches and application, regardless of whether you use a computer at home or at cyber café.

Set realistic targets for the number of job searches and applications you intend to achieve within eight ‘working’ hours. Go about achieving this target. Such schedule also helps respond instantly to any interview calls.

job search related

Step-6: Focus on mental, physical wellness

Unhealthy lifestyle is notorious for fuelling anxiety and stress. Unemployed and fresh job seekers often spend long hours sleeping or indulging in ungainful activity.

Your physique and face betray such lifestyle clearly to interviewers. Maintaining healthy lifestyle and diet helps prevent a build-up of excess brain and body hormones triggered by stress.

Exercises, yoga, walks and other activities keep job search related anxiety at bay. Reading stuff unrelated to jobs, helping at home, spending quality time with relatives and friends is excellent to stave off anxiety.

Step-7: Focused, purpose-driven targeting

Nowadays most job searches are conducted online. Applicants scour multiple job sites for vacancies. They upload CV and other details on these websites. Mobile apps alert applicants about new vacancies and allow applications at push of a button.

The flip side however is, job alerts sent by recruiter websites are frequently irrelevant, causing unwarranted stress and anxiety. They waste your time and effort.

When applying through recruitment websites, be extremely specific about the type of job you want. This increases chances of getting alerted to the perfect vacancy fast. Avoid unnecessary keywords while registering on employment portals.

Think out of the box

Remember, anxiety stems from imagination gone rancid. Left unchecked, it can putrefy into severe mental handicap that requires psychiatric intervention. Crime statistics worldwide clearly indicate unemployment and inability to find job leads to suicide.

A few also take to crime. Joblessness is a temporary phase that affects everyone’s life. It is not peculiar to you. Job search related anxiety is common and inflicts millions worldwide.

Go that extra mile

Keeping in touch with former colleagues is an excellent way to get rid of job search related anxiety. Visit offices of others operating in your profession to get acquainted with latest developments. Joining profession specific groups on social media helps bolster sagging confidence.

Advantages of goal setting

While searching for jobs, set goals about the size and type of company you wish to work. Resolve never to undersell your skills, regardless of the time taken to land that perfect job. It is wiser to stay unemployed for a few weeks more rather than take undesirable work.

Well prepared is key to success

Some degree of anxiety during job searches is caused by complacency on part of applicants. Leaving fine details until the last minute before an interview/ test causes unwarranted stress. Keep your certificates, references and other documents prepared before you commence applying.

Exploit the social media

A crisp page on LinkedIn and healthy Facebook profile can decide who hires you. Employers are increasingly looking at social media presence of prospective employees, despite inherent disadvantages. LinkedIn particularly helps you network with others in your chosen profession and fetches you vital tips and tweaks essentially to crack complex interviews and tests.

Author’s Bio

Pritam Nagrale is a blogger and running a digital marketing company in Mumbai. He writes on Career, Business, Make Money Ideas.

Here at Positive Words Research, we are looking to share with our readers original content that hasn’t been published on other sites so if you are comfortable with Positive Words Research being your sole publisher, we are more than happy to share with our readers your inspiring and empowering story.