The Upside of Bad. How to Find the Silver Lining During the Bad Times.
By Debbie Lyn Toomey
Two weeks ago, I got sick. Sick enough that I had to stay on my couch for four days. I couldn’t do anything because I was achy, sweaty, and weak from the flu. I haven’t been ill like that in five years. Because of this, I got way behind with my work and came back to hundreds of emails in my inbox waiting for a reply.
During my awake times on the couch, I wondered if I willed this to happen. Because days earlier, I wished I had a day of rest with nothing to do. Then before you know it, I got sick!
Have you ever willed yourself sick so you can get rest?
What did you do?
Did you work despite the fact you had no energy or will to do anything?
Not me. When I am sick, I just don’t feel like doing anything. After a day of feeling badly about missing work, I decided to give myself a break. I gave myself self-compassion and self-care. I basically nursed myself back to health with rest, liquid, and medicine. Instead of forcing myself to work, I gave myself permission to be human and to trust the whole process. I realized that my immune system was low from overworking and worrying too much about my impending projects.
Laying on my couch barely having energy to walk from one room to another, I was able to see things with better perspective. I realized that I had to slow down and let go of any extra burdens that I placed on myself. Despite the glassy-eyed look I had in my eyes from having the flu, I was able to see my life and work with clarity. I saw what was important and what was not. In other words, I found a silver lining in my sad moment. You can do it too.
You don’t have to wait until you are bed-ridden and sick to see the silver lining of whatever it is you are experiencing in life. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to get started in finding the silver lining during bad times.
1. Ask yourself what has been working well in your situation?
Focus on the good. Taking time to reflect on the good things that have happened will make you feel happier about yourself.
2. Ask who has been helpful to you?
Who has your back? The more we recognize and appreciate the people who are on our side and help us the more we will feel supported and less alone.
3. Ask what successes you have accomplished recently?
Count your winnings. Celebrating all successes (big and small) will give you confidence and positivity.
Life is so busy and can be discouraging if we don’t take the time to find the silver lining during the bad moments. Don’t wait for the situations to get worse. The best way to see the silver lining clearly is to stop and reflect upon who and what you have around you that is good and worth celebrating.
If you or your organization needs more support in increasing positivity levels and finding the silver lining, contact me at [email protected] for ways we can work together.