Life is filled with ups and downs. We are in a constant state of flux. No state lasts forever: not the good times or the bad times. That knowledge should be the catalyst for treasuring the good times and powering through the frustrating ones. Yet, sometimes it is hard. Especially when everything seems to be going against us.
I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine about the fact that things always seem to be the worst when we are going through them but often seem not that horrendous once we are out at the end. I said to her, "It is just about getting through the in-between."
Good enough advice, right? Then I got to thinking that it was easy to say just get through it, but how? How do we just get through it. I've compiled four of the best tips I could find on getting through those rough patches Life often tosses our way to remind us that we are human.
1. Acknowledge your emotions / the situation
It is important to acknowledge the realities of your emotions about the situation you have found yourself in. Denial may provide short term relief but will only make it harder to do the things necessary to escape the in-between place. So, acknowledge things no matter how hard, intimidating or frustrating they may seem. Give yourself permission to feel the things you feel. Face those demons, disappointments or decisions head on knowing that you are strong and capable. Once you have taken stock of your feelings and your situation then you can move on to the next phase.
2. Find an outlet
Once you have acknowledged your situation and the emotions you are feeling, it is important to find an outlet for those emotions. You may want to write it out in a journal or poems, talk to some friends, meditate, get creative or maybe find the time to fit in some extra exercise sessions (endorphins are amazing!). Whatever you decide, try your best to not wallow in the negative feelings. Distract yourself with something, anything, positive. Remember although it is okay to feel negative emotions it is important to not pack up and move into a negative place. Do not let the frustration or fear consume you, find a way to redirect it into something that will soothe you.
3. Change your thinking
It has been said that 'Death and Life are in the power of the tongue' but I believe that they are firmly in the power of our thoughts. You might be amazed how much a little bit of perspective can change things. Instead of believing yourself to be weak because you are feeling negative emotions, look at it as strength. You are strong enough to allow your soul to feel safe enough to express its hurt instead of hiding behind a wall of denial. Maybe the thing you see as a stumbling block at the moment is just creating a path for something bigger and better than you could ever imagine. That thing you failed at? Maybe it was just to prepare you for the real test. It is not easy to try to see the small positive things when you feel like crap and it will not happen overnight. However, I advise you to take that journal out and write one positive thing that has happened each day. Eventually, you will see yourself itching to write two, then three, then four and maybe five. When everything is chaotic around you try to steady yourself with a bit of perspective and positive thought.
4. Be gentle with yourself
This step may have landed last on the list but that in no way diminishes its importance. When you are in the in-between place where everything seems chaotic and bleak, be gentle with yourself. Once more for those in the back: Be. Gentle. With. Yourself.
You are not an Android, dear. You are human. And we will all have tough times, times that we think might break us. Remember, you have so far survived 100% of your toughest times and you will survive this too... even if it might seem like it is taking longer than you wish. So, treat yourself kindly both in thoughts and actions and be patient. You will not be in this shadowy place forever and you will be stronger because of it. Just keep on holding on.
Any tips I might have left out? What do you do to help yourself get through the tough times?