It’s no new fact but life can be hard and as much as we would love a smooth journey changes are inevitable. There are so many amazing quotes out there about hard times and building in strength, these are two quotes that I particularly love – “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyse you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” and “I have endured, I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But here I stand, still moving forward, growing stronger each day. I will never forget the harsh lessons in my life. They made me stronger.” These are pretty powerful quotes. It’s so easy to just tell someone who is facing a difficult time to ‘just stay positive, things will blow over’ and although that is true in the sense that hard times do pass it’s much harder to feel a sense of positivity during difficult times.
Most of us are experiencing a level of uncertainty during this global pandemic at the moment and I think alot of us could use some words of advice for adapting and thriving through life’s challenges. I’ve had a long hard think about suggestions on how to do this and that is what I would like to share with you all today… “Be strong now, because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever.”
Note – This isn’t a post solely for the pandemic situation we are facing but also for in general when we find ourselves in difficult times.
- Develop a Good Relationship With Yourself – One of the most important things in life is to have a good relationship with yourself because that relationship with you is what influences every other relationship in your life. A good relationship with yourself is central to your wellbeing so take some time to strengthen your own relationship, you can do this with writing a journal (for example.) Delve into things like what triggers off your negative emotions and think about ways in which you can handle those negative triggers in a healthier way. It can also be helpful to find gratitude in eachday as this will help you to see that there are positives no matter how big or how small in each of your days…I like to spend some time in the evening jotting down about three things that I am grateful for that day.
- Create a Good Mind/Body Balance – What you think and what you feel affects your physical and mental wellbeing and so it is important to create a good mind/body balance. Add some beneficial habits to your daily routine ones that can be sustained over a long period of time. These beneficial habits could be things like; making a clearer decision to exercise daily, following a meditation or relaxation practice, eating more nutritiously, being more mindful of what you watch or listen to for entertainment…ask yourself is it positive? Once you start having a better mind/body balance then you will feel more able to face head on whatever it is you are facing and feel alot stronger within yourself.
- Manage Those Negative Emotions That You Feel – One of the best pieces of advice that I have come across on managing emotions is to remember HALT. That is hunger, angry, lonely and tired. Perhaps you’ve noticed yourself that when you are feeling one of those you are in a more vulnerable state as you start to respond in inappropriate ways, so it’s a good idea to stay aware of ‘HALT’ so that you don’t bring unnecessary negative emotions into your life. It’s also important to remember that feelings are not facts and you become more emotionally alert when you can identify your own emotions. Being more emotionally intelligent will allow you to gain more clarity on how you respond to difficult situations.
- Focus On The Now – Meditation is a great practice for holding attention to the present moment and I would highly recommend meditating daily to practice this however, if you’ve already decided that meditation isn’t for you it is still important to practise holding your attention on the present moment. Take some soothing deep breathes and just focus on the here and now and on what you need to do today. When going through a difficult time it is so easy to let your mind wander into the future and to think about all of the worst case scenarios but to soothe and create more calmness in the mind you have to shift your focus to the now and present. It really is a brilliant way to achieve calmness during ‘the storm.’
- Add Structure To Your Life – When your world feels shaky and unstable having some structure in your life is it’s foundation, in other words structure stabilises. This sort of follows on from my creating a good mind/body balance suggestion. Developing beneficial habits becomes your structure in uncertain challenging times like setting aside a certain amount of time to exercise daily, getting enough sleep, practising meditation, finding comfort in soothing pastimes etc…
- Develop Good Relationships With Others – Aswell as creating a good relationship with yourself it’s also important to create good relationships with others too. Find ways to communicate to others love, what you need and learn to have difficult conversations. Listen with your heart, speak honestly, find ways to repair after a row…make the key relationships in your life a priority. It’s also important to focus on the relationships that are beneficial to you because it’s extremely easy to be broken down by a ‘toxic’ relationship. So be aware of those that pick you up and bring joy into your life rather than the opposite. It’s also good to learn to be assertive in situations too, knowing your own boundaries is crucial to maintaining a sense of order when the world feels overwhelming so be assertive and say no with confidence if something isn’t in line with your boundaries.
- Try Out This Calming Focusing Technique – Find a quiet spot where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes and start to breathe deeply and slowly (in through your nose and out through your mouth, repeat this three times then return your breathe to it’s natural state.) Move your focus and attention around your body until you find a place with the most sensation. Breathe into that place. Start to find words to describe that place…Is it hard or soft? Does it have a colour or is it a shape? Create an image for the sensation…if it could speak what would it say? Continue to follow where the image takes you.
I hope you have found some help in these suggestions and if you have any others please leave them down below in the comments for all to see and benefit from. Thank you. One last thing to remember, when you find yourself going through a difficult patch in life or perhaps having an unpleasant state of mind simply remind yourself ‘This Too Shall Pass.’
Stay Safe and Take Care!