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Thirty-One Tips For Personal Empowerment During Difficult Times

By Allen D. Brandon, Ph.D.,
Director of the Rocky Mountain NeuroPsychological Sciences

1. Don't panic. Seek to avoid worry and anxiety by realizing that you are not a different person, even though your circumstances have changed. You are the same, competent person that you always were.

2. Pray. And believe in the power of prayer. God can be one of our greatest friends and presence of great inner peace at these times.

3. Avoid feeling guilty for wanting to live normally again. Guilt does nothing to change the past, or remove old wounds. It just serves to keep us immobilized.

4. Don't isolate...remain active. Stay involved.

5. Be good to yourself. Take time outs, sleep well, enjoy hobbies and keep your interests perked. Be a friend to yourself.

6. Talk it out with other people. Don't shut down your feelings. Speak with the people whom you feel you have wronged.

7. Avoid negative people and situations.

8. Trust your instincts. You have used them in the past to cope successfully with troubling times. You have engrained survival skills. Call them to the forefront.

9. Take time for light, pleasurable reading.

10. You dont have to be responsible for everyone else's feelings.

11. Laugh. It's ok to break out of the shell of negative feelings.

12. Empower and dignify others by teaching them how to regain their strength.

13. Avoid racism and prejudice.

14. Seek advice of people you respect. Take their wise words seriously.

15. Seek accurate information. Not just heresay.

16. Seek spiritual guidance. Go to a church.

17. Take time to get away with friends, family and pets.

18. Be informed, not immobilized.

19. Visualize your greatest strength and embrace it daily to get you through this.

20. Power of positive thinking. You have handled adversity before and have the tools to make it through this too.

21. Turn off the tv and radio. Only get your news once per day (preferably in the morning, not before bedtime).

22. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as a means of escape.

23. It's ok to seek normalcy in your life. Reestablish your routine. We can't function effectively in the presence of a daily roller coaster of uncertainty.

24. Don't succumb to a “poor me" way of thinking.

25. Take back control in your life. Look at life through the front windshield.

26. Avoid negative self-statements.

27. It's ok to be angry. Bad things have happened. However, avoid bitterness, rage, and resentment, as they car become toxic poisons for the emotions, body, and soul.

28. Exercise periodically during the day. Don't let the body build up stress and tension (eg., headaches, ulcers).

29. Be on guard for the onset of clinical depression. If noted, seek professional consultation.

30. Use the power of visualization to regain personal power.

31. Live by the statement that 'I made the best choice I could, based on the information I had at the time'.

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