Signpost with emotions

Hearing that you are about to be made redundant is right up there as one of the most stressful events that can happen in life. I remember being notified that my role no longer existed due to company closure in 2012. It does not matter what the reasons are: downsizing, getting dismissed, getting fired, getting your walking papers or P45 the transition is just the same for everyone. This can be a time of uncertanity, anxiety, fear and confusion. The only thing that we can be certain of is the “uncertainty”.

There are many emotions that come rushing all at once. Emotions, often called feelings, include experiences such as love, hate, anger, trust, joy, panic, fear, and grief. Emotions are related to, but different from, mood. Emotions are specific reactions to a particular event that are usually of fairly short duration. The image I use to describe these is like being on a roller coaster, and it feels like there is no control on what is happening a sence of being lostThis is the same for everyone, we all go through the same cycle of emotions. Resilient people go through this cycle faster as they can adapt and change their energy. Loosing your job can have a perfound effect on your emotions.

Any change facing us is not as important as our attitude towards it, for that determines our success or failure. That is the part that we need to hold on to.

Here are the seven types of emotions you might experience. These takes time to go through.

1. Immobilisation – Shock, overwhelmed and a feeling of disbelief that you are indeed loosing your job.

2. Denial – Disbelief. Can not believe this is happening. There can be a lot of fear and anxiety present when you loose your job.

3. Awareness that change is going to happen. You will start to  feel a bit of relief mixed with concern as to what the future will be like.

4. Acceptance of the reality that this change is happening. You will start to plan and explore the possibilities that are out there for you – start making plans.

5. Testing and checking out what are the possibilities.You will feel hopeful of what the future can bring, and start to look forward.

6. Searching for meaning as to what this is all about. You will  start to feel some enthuasims coming into your life again – you will develop interest in a new idea.

7. Intergration and bringing the whole experiecnce together – find your self – like pieces of a jigsaw. Moving into a new stage of our life, new hope and possibility.


If you find yourself getting stuck 

Be gentle with yourself and take time to do the following:

Try and not worry, believe you me that is easier said than done and I know that.

Worrying can be helpful when it spurs you to take action and solve a problem. But if you’re preoccupied with “what if’s” and worst-case scenarios, worry becomes a problem. Unrelenting doubts and fears can be paralyzing. They can sap your emotional energy, send your anxiety levels soaring, and interfere with your daily life. But chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more positive perspective. Here are a few ideas that might help you.

Remember to look after yourself and your physical energy – How long you sleep, what you eat, what exercise you take daily, drinking water are not cures but all help us to be more resilient and bounce back.

Try and find something positive to hold on to – being optimistic is a way to build up your emotional energy. Meet up with friends, join groups, find things that you are interested in and keep in contact with people. Some people feel shame (A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace) in being out of work, but there is no shame. In Ireland the reality is in 2013 there are 13.6% of the labour force is out of work.

Build up your mental energy by  focusing on what we want in this new life, there might be a new oppertunity to start to retrain in a new field. Do things that test your mind like crosswords, reading the papers. I found being away from my work collegues very hard as I missed  the mental engagement with them. I said I was “mentally lonely”. I had to find a group of people to get involved with to stop me feeling lonely, there are many different groups out there depending on your age and what your interests are. You are very welcome to join us on facebook ( or twitter (

Moving forward is the key. Taking small steps forward with a focus on what your goal is for yourself. Get as much support to help you achieve your goal. You deserve the best. 

Wishing you the best of luck as you move forward in your life. “

“What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us” – Ralph Walo Emerson



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