6 Ways To Stay Positive Throughout the Search and Reunion Process

October is positive attitude month.

Jennifer Mellon October 23, 2017
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Though the search and reunion process it can seem overwhelming at times, keeping a positive outlook and attitude can make all of the difference in your experience and keep you healthy and whole. Research shows there are many emotional and health benefits from staying positive. Finding ways to dispel negative thought patterns and staying positive specifically during the search and reunion journey can help immensely.

Ways to Stay Positive

1. Set your intention.

As a yoga teacher, I regularly tell my students to set an intention at the begin of class.  “Why did you decide to show up today? What made you leave your routine and say, I need an hour of yoga?” Asking yourself similar questions such as, “Why am I beginning a Search and Reunion Process?” and “What brought me to this moment and desire?” can help you remember the why in your journey.  Focusing on that intention can help you stay positive through the process

2. Change unhealthy self-talk. 

We all have a continual stream of thoughts and self-talk we subscribe to throughout each day.  When self-talk becomes defeatist or negative, it can be easy to fall into a place of fear, helplessness, apathy, frustration or despair. These are all normal feelings you may feel through the search and reunion process, and frankly, in life. If you can identify the the negative self-talk and change those lines of thinking into more positive ones, you will see an incredible difference in your emotional well-being and attitude.

3. Avoid dwelling on negatives. 

It can be easy when you have spent a great time of time, money, and hope and have yet to reach your desired outcome or find your birth family member. The search and reunion process can be wrought with twists and turns you did not expect. Fear of the unknown, worrying about a potential negative response, a dead-end to your search, or the time and money spent on the process can lead many into focusing on only the negative aspects of the search. Coming back to your initial intention, remembering why you started the process, and reminding yourself that their are so much to be gained can help you avoid dwelling on the negatives.

4. Imagine what you would tell a loved one.

One very practical way to practice staying positive is to imagine a friend or family member was going through the search and reunion process. What would you tell them? How would you respond to any negative talk? How would you support them through each step? Being kind to yourself and speaking to yourself like you would your loved ones is a very simple way to get back and stay in a positive mindset through the journey.

5. Practice self-care. 

All journeys require the traveler to partake in self-care. The journey through the search and reunion process is no different. It can be easy to get caught up in the many details and items to do next in the search. Ensuring that you carve out time to focus on you will help you stay positive. Massages, lunch with a friend, a long walk, exercise, or time in a good book are all ways you may experience self-care and recovery. Find what works best for you.

6. Practice gratitude. 

The easiest way to stay in a positive mindset throughout the search and reunion process is to practice gratitude. It is a practice, just like everything else worth doing. It also becomes easier with practice. Instead of dwelling on a negative piece of information or dead end, flip your perspective and think about what you can be thankful for in that moment or experience. Even our darkest hours show us small things we can be thankful for, whether it be our health, what we have learned about ourselves through the process, answers to long-asked questions, the validation of our loved ones’ support. Keeping a gratitude journal is an easy way to carve out intentional time to devote to positive thinking.

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Jennifer Mellon

Jennifer Mellon has worked in the child welfare field for more than a decade, serving in varying capacities as the Executive Director and Chief Development Officer of Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) and the Corporate Communications Program Manager for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI). Jennifer has served on the Board of the Campagna Center, which provides critical educational services to children and families in the DC Metro Area and on the Development Committee for the National Council for Adoption. She is the mom of three children and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

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