Delayed shock, though, can trigger unexpected feelings ranging from anger to
apathy. You’re doing fine – coping with the downturn, rolling with the punches –
when all this stuff hits you from nowhere…
Anger, bitterness, resentment, jealousy – all natural symptoms when your safety
is threatened. Be aware of where these feelings come from but resist taking it
out on those around you. Let your anger out harmlessly, for example, in physical
activity. Channelled positively, these emotions can even give you the
determination to change your situation.
Sometimes anger can turn inwards and become self-blame. It is like living with
someone who constantly nags and belittles you. Stop it and look for positive
things to re-build your morale. If you honestly believe you should have done
better, now is the time to assess what skills and training you need to do so.
Alternatively, you could be struck by apathy – suddenly, you don’t see the point
any more. Apathy is the result of emotion overload. Too many difficult feelings
makes your emotional fuse blow leaving you empty and despondent. The cure is to
get things moving again. Do one thing towards your goals every day, however
small, and something that requires some effort, however little.
Such a cocktail of mixed emotions can lead to damaging behaviour. People do
things like drink, gamble, fight or have affairs. Although they offer temporary
relief, these things don’t make the feelings go away and can easily slide into
self-destructive behaviour that makes the situation even worse.
Be aware too that emotions can have physical consequences. Formerly healthy
people can find themselves suffering from aches, sniffles and twinges that
become yet another cause for worry. Always check out worrying symptoms, but
relaxing may be more use than antibiotics.
Lynn Williams is a career coach. Her latest books are
Readymade CVs and Readymade Job Search Letters, which are published by Kogan
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