What Do You Need Right Now?


When we talk about choosing positive thoughts that encourage us instead of negative thoughts that discourage us, please don’t mistake this for a kind of Pollyanna “toxic positivity.” Or pretending to feel a way you don’t really feel.

The idea is not to pretend that our problems or frustrations don’t exist. It is more to embrace the mantra quoted by Haruki Murakami in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:

“Pain is inevitable.

Suffering is optional.”

There certainly seems to be no shortage of things to be cynical and negative about in the current pharmacy environment. And as therapist Shonda Moralis has noted, “when we are living in a state of time scarcity and overwhelm, we lose sight of our values and need for connection, and other human beings can begin to feel like distractions and stressful obligations.”

We can suffer, or we can choose not to suffer. Or to suffer less.

When you find yourself consumed by negativity, try hitting the pause button and acknowledging the pain. Tell yourself something like, “I am feeling [anger, frustration, sadness, etc.] and it feels really tough.” And then use the power of questions to try to shift to positivity. Ask yourself, “How can I care for this feeling? What do I need right now?”

By Cynthia Knapp Dlugosz

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