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Staying Up In a Down Economy

Major unemployment, economic woes, falling stock rates, mounting foreclosures, rising gas prices – it is a current reality that brings with it the potential for despair. Without discounting the severity of the situation, how you make it through depends on your outlook. Here are suggestions to keep an upbeat attitude regardless.

Think About What You Think About. Pay attention to your thoughts and interrupt them when they turn negative, worrisome or anxious. Say “STOP” out loud, then deliberately change your mind. Turn to prayer, joys, successes, past accomplishments, future plans - anything that will keep your spirits up.

Search for the Silver Lining. Without rain the flowers would not grow. Without mountains, the valleys would be ordinary. Without the night the sun would be too much. With unlimited funds, gratitude would be jeopardized. Without financial restraints, debt becomes unbearable.

Use Your Creativity. Yes, you are creative. To thrive in a recession, adopt the mind set of “how much can I make do with what I already have.” What tasty meals can you make from the hodge-podge of staples in the pantry? How can you repurpose items in the tool shed or attic, either to use or to sell? Adopt the shaker philosophy of “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do. Do without.”

Lighten Your Load. Few things expand your buoyancy like extra space. Look through closets, cabinets and drawers and get rid of at least ten items in each room. Donate the discards to charity to brighten another’s day. This exercise has psychological benefits in that it breaks emotional attachments to things that no longer serve you.

Be Thankful. With a heart of gratitude focus on what you do have rather than what you do not have. Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have a safe place in which to sleep? Multitudes of people world-wide do not. Do you have at least one person who cares bout you? Are you able to take care of most of your bodily needs?

Pay It Forward. The law of reciprocity really works: what you give into the lives of others is returned to you. Volunteer at a charity of your choice. Help out weekly at a soup kitchen. Commit random acts of kindness with no regard of praise. Be gentle with the infirmed and compassionate to a child.

Rest and Refresh. Make it a point to be in bed by 10 PM. It is amazing how differently the world looks after a good night’s sleep. While your body is in relax-mode, your unconscious mind is busily searching for solutions. Insurmountable problems are lessened by rest.

Perhaps the best way to stay up in a down economy is in to summons the courage of “I will try again tomorrow.” Be thankful for today and do not worry about tomorrow; stand in amazement at how things work out – in the long run - for the better.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Read past articles at Contact her at -30-

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