How to keep a positive attitude in a new environment
The power of positive thinking can make the world go round. For immigrants it can make or break a move that is life-altering by itself and can backfire unless one keeps a positive mindset. No matter what the reason is for migrating to another country, it will bring major changes in the way one leads his/her life henceforth. Even those who are steeped in their traditions or adhere by some rigid principles will find themselves facing massive changes in order to adjust to their new lives. They have to, for rigidity is not conducive to adaptability and hence will completely negate the improvements that they wanted from the move in the first place.
For most people however, despite the openness to change and adapt, there can be moments of negativity and doubt which plague them for days on end. Most of the time it is homesickness and lack of familiarity that gets them down and this is completely natural. People in new places may take time to mix and mingle with newcomers. At times, there are language barriers and cultural differences which act as a deterrent for immigrants to feel completely at home in the initial few months. All these add to their sense of rootlessness and leads to negative thoughts, undermining the real and positive factors behind their move.
This is where the power of positive thinking comes to one’s aid. If you are feeling the same way, then take a deep breath and check out these tips to help you feel good in the new place.
Tip #1 – Goals – Focus on your goals – Focus on the key reasons of your move and why you decided to immigrate in the first place. It could have been for your career and better life which most people migrate for. It could be to have your kids settle down in a better economy or society which will provide them great education and ample scope for excellent higher education as well. Many spouses, who have moved because their wives/husbands have been transferred to another country, find it difficult to adjust at first. Again, you need to focus on what is more important and how by supporting your spouse you can both benefit from a better life in the long run.
Tip #2 – Culture – Work on your culture skills – Expect culture shock, it’s natural. People and regions are different and so is their culture. You know this for a fact so there is no reason to feel shocked, hurt or frustrated when faced with the differences in you and others in the new place. Instead of being insular and demotivated, try and reach out to the people you meet and get to know them. Who knows you might be pleasantly surprised to find people of the right wavelength and end up making better friends that you have ever expected. Accepting the new culture is an intrinsic part of making your new life a success.
Tip #3 – Adjustment – Work on settling down – Instead of complaining and bemoaning the changes that have occurred focus on accepting them and making them work. Human beings are extremely adaptable to change, a characteristic that has made us the fittest race on this planet. Not accepting the new and opposing the changes is perhaps being deliberately resistant to the good and the positive. If you want to be a winner and lead to fulfilling life you have to be more open and more proactive than that.
Tip #4 – Reiterate – Reverse culture shock – Sometimes it is good to remind yourself of the not-so-good things in your home country so that you can understand why you decided to emigrate in the first place. It is very common for immigrants to feel frustration and angst in the initial two or three years when they constantly complain about the people, culture, laws and ways of life and their inability to adjust with the ‘foreign’ elements, and the culture shock that they experience at every turn. For 99% of these immigrants a short trip back home is all it takes to wash away all their doubts and complaints. What they face in these trips is a massive reverse culture shock where all the negative aspects of their past lives can rise up as ghosts to haunt them bad. They quickly understand why they moved and now have a clearer idea of how to settle down better.
Tip #5 – Cosmopolitanism – Give in to the adventure – Unleash the inner wanderlust in you and look at your immigration as an adventure of a lifetime. Yes, there are many practical reasons for your move and we have touched upon some of them above. But over and above them all you can look at this as an opportunity to explore life in way you could have never thought of before. Embrace the new culture and the different types of people that you come in contact with in the new land for they will be the foundation for an incredible social life, beyond work and career. Stay away from negative vibes and let your positive attitude define your new life. Just stepping onto the new soil is not enough, step out of your mental comfort zone as well. It is only then that you will be a truly cosmopolitan and global citizen.
Remember everything happens for a reason, and the reason is always good.