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Five Steps to Finding True Happiness after Being Fired

By Amy Shouse, LearnVest

You can actually find true happiness after you get fired. You probably won't be able to avoid the nausea and panic you will feel on the day you get fired, but if you see it coming, you can prepare to go out with dignity.

It seems like the star of the show is a dented box that every terminated person has received since the beginning of time. It looks as if someone has jumped up and down on it before hurling it at the brown particle board bookcase that it lays in front of — dead.

If your company has been acquired by a larger one, you might start seeing signs that your position is in jeopardy: You start seeing a lot of closed-door meetings filled with desperado eye contact; passing someone in the hall is like seeing another prisoner in the weight yard; several people have permanent expressions that telegraph "Help! I’m going bonkers."

What you need is Dignity Plan. Some kind of mission to muster a Post-It note’s worth of dignity that involves more than walking around looking like you are going to vomit.

Rather than walk out carrying a grungy box overflowing with your stuff, if you're going down, go down unencumbered. Do a meticulous inventory of everything you've accumulated. Start taking your personal items home, a few at a time, every day. On your last day, plan on leaving with a few photographs and your purse or briefcase. Avoid cramming years' or decades’ worth of belongings into one of those beat-up discarded boxes.

In fact, since getting fired, this author has never been happier and more productive, doing what she's always dreamed of doing — writing. She credits her momentum and return back to her old, happy self to five top strategies she employed immediately after she got axed:

  1. Say It Out Loud: “I Got Fired”

    Then write about it. Getting fired is a traumatic experience and one way to process trauma is to put pen to paper and see what comes up. Venting about the whole odyssey in your journal will help ground you. Unloading negative feelings helps you move forward in a way that feels focused, not panicked.

  2. Make Time to Do Nothing or What You’ve Never Had Time To Do

    Decompression is a balm for stress. Allowing yourself to have some down time will open up space in your shocked mind and body. Take baths every night. Walk every morning. Read back issues of Oprah and Sunset. Clean out clutter and donate items. Do all this while constructing your action plan and create a budget that will carry you through the time you are taking to refresh and renew.

Read the rest of the article on LearnVest.com.

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