Have you ever had a day, a week, or a year of it when it’s just one thing after another?
I bet you are nodding because it happens to everyone and it happened to me this week. One minute I was pottering around in my daily routine and the next minute a number of ‘not so pleasant’ events collided and threatened to spin me into a stressful state of disorganised chaos. After a very deep breath, a silent prayer and a cup of tea I started to prioritise and address each situation that was calling for my attention one at a time. It involved a considerable amount of re-scheduling and employing a number of coping skills that I have developed over time to help me deal with the more challenging moments in life.
It is these coping skills I wish to share with you that perhaps could help you too in times of trouble.
Ask for help. We can’t be in ten places at once and we can’t always do what we need to do without help. Make your needs known. Don’t be afraid to ask for help for support, information, direction or whatever it is you need to see it through.
Ask ‘How?’ not ‘Why?’ You can ask why later, for now focus on asking, “How do I meet this challenge?” By asking “how” you are telling your mind that there is a solution to be found. This keeps your focus on creating a positive outcome.
Detach emotionally from the situation. When emotions are running high, simply observe how you feel rather than act or add stories to your feelings. This will enable you to act and react calmly with common sense without emotional agitation which often clouds the judgement and wastes unnecessary emotional and physical energy.
Don’t take it personal. Everybody faces more than enough challenges. The universe has not conspired against you. Sometimes bad stuff just happens. Taking things personally just leads to excuses and blame and a whole host of other worthless thoughts and emotions. Don’t even go there.
Remember, ‘this too shall pass.’ One way or another, you will get through it. Every situation has a conclusion. Even if it’s not the conclusion you wanted, at least it will be over and you can start from there.
View it as an opportunity to learn a lesson. There is almost always some value or lesson in challenging situations. The more we train ourselves to see the value in every experience, the more resourceful we will be when those experiences are challenging and unexpected.
Laugh your way through it. Go ahead and laugh. Sometimes things get so ridiculous that it’s almost laughable. Laughter is a better way to release emotional stress and cope with a challenge than losing your cool in the moment.
I couldn’t have got through this week as positively as I did without the help of friends, family and the coping skills I have developed that allowed me to stay positive and focused on what matters. Coping is a skill. It is difficult at first to change your attitude but with some practice coping skills can be developed to weather the storm and deal with the ‘not so nice’ challenges in life in a more positive way that is not detrimental to your health or general wellbeing.