One of the most challenging things to cope with in times of disruption is the potential for negative story lines to dominate our headspace. It often starts by a series of challenging events, sometimes only small in nature, linking together and we tell ourselves that this is our new normal – and it’s all bad. When left unchallenged this negative storyline can involuntarily dominate our outlook and our actions. This is particularly so in uncertain times like now.

I find this particularly challenging when you are in a position of responsibility for the welfare of others such as being an employer, parent and in reality most of us in some role. The weight of that responsibility in combination with a negative storyline running in our heads can be very deflating and if unchecked, can lead to more serious medical conditions. Over the past 16 years of running GOP I’ve had to develop some techniques to get through times like these.

Firstly you have to recognise what it is. It is essentially a loss of perspective. You also have to trust that it will end. You feel like you are drowning but you have to allow yourself the time to resurface. You will say to yourself many times “but what if it doesn’t”, trust me, it will.

The second thing is recognise that you are susceptible to these narratives and that they need to be challenged. When you feel these patterns emerging, challenge them. Literally say to yourself, here we go again, I need to be watchful here, I’m not going to let this drown me.

The third thing is to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your loss of perspective. It can be as simple as saying over a coffee “Hey I’m stuck in a bit of a rut at present, can I run something past you to get another view?” It’s a simple non-threatening way to change your outlook and not get stuck in your own head.

Lastly, if you feel like nothing is working do not feel ashamed to seek professional help. Men particularly struggle to take this step as they see it as a sign of weakness, when it’s actually one of the bravest acts they can do. For most who have taken that step it is one of the most liberating times in their lives and the quickest way to resurface.

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