When Times Are Difficult How Do You Cope?
It doesn’t matter who we are, where we come from, or our status in life we have all been faced with difficult times and feelings that everything is out of our control. Most of us don’t go around inviting unwanted trials and difficult circumstances into our lives however things happen that can overnight turn your world upside down.
If you are living your life in a state of turmoil and discouragement because you are not able to cope with a stressful situation then you are not operating at your best. Let’s talk about how to cope with stress in difficult times.
Say No To Fear! - Fear takes a situation and escalates it on an emotional roller coaster. Most of the emotions that grow from fear are negative and create more unwanted challenges. Fear is overwhelming and defeats more people than any other force in the world. Fear is only as deep as your mind allows. When I become fearful I am reminded of the story of Job in the Bible. Job said “What I have feared has come upon me.” Fear brings about the exact thing that you don’t want to happen and causes it to happen. Giving too much power to negative thoughts and energy brings those things that you don’t want to life.
TIP: Find something positive that you can focus on instead of the stressful situation and give thanks regularly. When you focus on the positive and give thanks consistently for what is going good in your life, it helps you to cope with stress because it takes your mind off of what is going wrong and places your mind on what is going right. Stop worrying about what might happen in the future and Live for today. When I worry about the things that might happen I have to remind myself, today is all that I have and today, all Is well.
Keep Living! – When times get difficult the first tendency is to have a pity party, put our head in the sand and wave the flag of defeat. First inclination is to feel bad and tell ourselves its ok to feel bad because look at the terrible situation we are facing. We may want to go to bed and not face our problems or worries. But the only way to really cope and come out with a positive outcome is to do things that make us happy, be with the people who brighten our world and engage in activities that keep you looking on the bright side of life.
TIP: Focus only on the highest and best in everything. When you stay focused on seeing the best and good in everything you can cope with stress because you are only seeing the positive. Make laughter a part of your daily routine. Find things that make you smile and make you laugh even if it’s just a funny sitcom or playing with your pet, and do it daily. It’s hard to feel bad when you are smiling and even more difficult when you are laughing. Get physical, play a sport or engage in some type of exercise that you enjoy. For one it’s hard to worry about your problems when you have to be focused on the activity that you are participating in.
This Too Shall Pass – Remember that the storm you are facing is temporary. One way or another, you will get through it. Every situation has a conclusion. Even if it’s not the conclusion you want, at least it will be over and you can start from there. If you have to rebuild some aspect of your life, you will probably do it better and faster than you did the last time. One of my favorite quotes Is; “What the caterpillar called the end of the world, the master called a butterfly” by Richard Bach. It may seem like the end of the world at this moment in time but once we’ve gotten through the hard times and look back on the journey there is always a lesson, a reason, and most often better things in store for us.
TIP: There is almost always some value in challenging situations. The truth is that we grow from facing challenges more than we would without them. I know, sometimes there are growing pains involved, but that’s just tuition in the school of life. Have a mental rehearsal and visualize your goals and desires. Athletes call this visualization process “mental rehearsal,” and they have been using it since the 1960's when we learned about it from the Russians. Set aside a few minutes a day. The best times are when you first wake up, after meditation or prayer, and right before you go to bed. See as much detail as you can create, including what you are wearing, your body movements, the environment and other people and objects that are with you. Use positive affirmations to support your visualization, “I am healthy, I am happy, I am prosperous, I am abundant, I am protected, I am terrific.” And in all things give thanks for the blessings that have been bestowed on your life. I think if we could look at all of the problems that people throughout the world are faced with and given a choice to keep ours or have these problems, we would keep what we have been given.
Just a few simple skills will help you cope resourcefully and will help you to turn challenges into opportunities. Having a positive perspective will go a long way toward improving the quality of this journey called life.
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