Challenges are a part of life. Big or small, you will encounter some difficulties and unexpectedly negative situations as you go through your day to day. Sometimes it’s a blip on the radar. Others times you feel like Pac-Man trying to collect all your little dots before the ghosts catch up.
As I mentioned yesterday, your attitude has a big affect on the outcome. Let’s explore some coping strategies.
Hard Times Will Pass
It can be hard to look at the big picture when you’re in the middle of a crisis. However, almost every hardship is temporary. This difficult time will end, and you’ll move past it. Keeping this point in mind can lower your stress levels and help keep your mind focused on the task at hand: overcoming your current obstacle. You’ll be far better at thinking critically and productively if you’re outlook is optimistic.
Try to Assess Things Rationally
Emotions run on high during a challenge, and these feelings can verge on negative. You may experience emotions like fear, anger, sadness and resentment as you try to rebuild your life or manage a crisis. While these feelings are perfectly normal, they’re also counterproductive to finding solutions. It’s easy to get stuck in negative emotions. When this happens, you’ll generally find yourself reacting blindly rather than making proactive decisions. Make an effort to remove the emotions from your decision-making, and you’ll soon see your progress shift in a more positive direction.
Bad Things Happen to Good People
Try not to take everything personally and don’t ask why. Bad things happen to good people. Chances are nothing you’ve done has contributed to this situation. When we ask, “Why me?” Or get caught in a never-ending loop of trying to figure out what we’ve done wrong, moving forward becomes impossible.
Look for the Silver Lining
I don’t mean to belittle or detract from the seriousness of anyone’s problems. Please know that’s not my intent when I say that it can be helpful to search for the value hardships may bring. Perhaps you’ll find none, but many times you just might. Challenges often bring opportunity for change with them. A personal example for me this past year is my Father’s cancer diagnosis. As awful and terrifying as it can be we have found a new connection as a family. Making visits a priority and reconnecting in meaningful ways has been a huge silver lining in this otherwise bleak situation.
Change can be scary, and we’ll talk about that in more detail in tomorrow’s blog post. It can also be transformative and exciting. Embrace the potential for positive transformation you might find during the tough times, and you’ll feel more motivated to push past them.
These are a few strategies I’ve found helpful when dealing with life’s challenges. Give them a try, and you may find yourself more in control of your situation than you realized you could be.