You have sailed along effortlessly for years. Your family, friends and even the celebrities you adore, are all struggling it seems. Somehow you have stayed above the waves. But one day… it all changes.
Your life suddenly takes an unexpected turn and you are thrown. Like really thrown. You are looking into a tunnel you have never encountered before, and for the first time in your life, you feel a sense of fear and panic.
This often brings a loss of hope about the future that can cripple your ability to function every day. It might seem impossible to stay positive. Coping with this emotional and often spiritual trauma is the most important journey we will all face.
When we are depressed and frightened it is hard to be effective, inspirational and powerful in any area of our lives. Here are seven strategies to help you maintain your positive compass and find strength during these challenging times.
1. Surround yourself with the right people
This is getting harder and harder to do, granted. However, there are people who, in spite of their circumstances, forge ahead with great positivity and find ways to approach each day with optimism and excitement. You may have fewer friends if you follow this strategy, but the ones you have will lift you up and motivate you daily.
2. Consciously choose at do least 1 thing per day you enjoy
For me, I couldn’t cope without my music. Going for a drive each morning and listening to music fills my soul, reminds me what I care about and gives me the motivation I need to pursue my life every day with focus and enthusiasm. What puts you into a positive, energized place that you can do every day? It may seem small in the grand picture of what you are going through, however it is these positive moments that will drive your energy to move through any challenge you face.
3. Get moving
While exercise is ideal and essential at all times, during emotional stress it is more important than ever to move our bodies. Research is clear that moving your body releases chemicals that make it easier to cope with stress. Work with your circumstances, not against them. A simple walk can work wonders to keep your mood and your energy up so you can be productive.
4. Don’t compare
When things are difficult it is easier than ever to compare yourself to others who ‘have it easy’. Taking your struggles personally will only pull you down further. Create a positive mantra in your mind that supports your inner dialogue. Every person alive on this earth will struggle at one time or another. We all know fear, loss and pain. Stay focused on your situation and don’t get lost in the land of regrets and ‘if only’.
5. Stay on top of your game, using organization tips
When things get difficult it is very easy to lose track of everything. Time, paperwork, schedules, appointments and even people all seem to fall into a black hole, simply adding to our frustration. Don’t let chaos become your new identity. Stay clear and keep your life, professionally and personally organized. Nothing is more draining than spending hours trying to find something essential that has been misplaced. It can be very difficult to reestablish connections that have been damaged due to living our lives in a state of havoc.
6. Feel in control with a realistic, practical plan
Regardless of whatever you are dealing with, there are real solutions to managing the practical and emotional aspects of your challenge. The secret is to create small steps you can so right now to work towards resolving the issue. Often, in creating small successes, the large obstacles take care of themselves. The more you manage how you feel every day, the more you will be effective in dealing with your situation. It really is true. Focus on what you can impact and resolve to have faith that what you cannot control will resolve itself for the best.
7. Acknowledge life is not meant to be plain sailing all the time – give yourself a break
It really is okay that things are not going as you had planned in life. Your finances and circumstances may have changed drastically, but if you can find the opportunities in the darkness, you may discover a new life you will love even more. Relationships do change, but they can change for the better. Most challenges bring wonderful new choices. If you allow yourself to let go of what has happened and give yourself permission to look for a new and different life, you may find that everything IS happening for a reason. You will see that it all really will be ok in the long run.
We can’t control the journey, but we can always control how we experience the journey. So, focus on how you feel on the inside… not on what is happening to you in your life on the outside, and you will feel empowered and positive each day.