Life can be a joy, but it can also be a struggle. Most of us are victims of circumstance. When our lives are going well, our relationships are flourishing, our jobs are prosperous, and our families are healthy, we tend to feel happy and content.
But what about those times when everything is going wrong? Maybe you’re going through a divorce. Perhaps your child is sick, or your parent is dying. Did you lose your job, or find out that your best friend has cancer? Maybe you are feeling alone and depressed after the death of a spouse. There are times in our lives when we are trying to juggle one crisis after another and we begin to feel so sorry for ourselves that we can’t function.
Trying to keep a positive attitude in times of extreme adversity may seem impossible. Life’s challenges are always looming just over your shoulder. Feeling sorry for yourself won’t make your situation disappear. The “Why me?” attitude is detrimental to your mental health and your physical well-being.
It is normal to grieve a loss, or to be discouraged about troubling occurrences that interfere with our lives and make us feel hopeless. There are steps you can take to improve the way you handle the hard times that come your way. Here are a few ideas to consider when you’re dealing with hard times.
This Too, Shall Pass
Think of the ravaging thunderstorm and the havoc that follows as it accelerates into a tornado. Life can be that way. When the storms of life settle in around you, remember that better times are ahead. Damage can be repaired, lives can be rebuilt, and the sun will return.
Stop, Take a Breath, and Enjoy the Little Things
When your life seems to be spinning out of control, you are the only one who can stop the cycle. If you have lost your job, think of it as an opportunity to find a new challenge. A divorce is painful, but remaining in a hopeless marriage is painful too. Gather your courage and move forward.
A death can be devastating. Give yourself time to think, grieve, and regroup. Rely on friends and family members who offer to help you. Take advantage of grief support groups and grief therapy, if needed. Through it all, remember that your life will go on. Your loss will remain with you forever, but you’ll have to let go of the pain, and ease yourself back into life.
Focus on the simple pleasures of life, and know that you can be happy, productive and fulfilled again. Let life gently lead you to a positive place, and make it your goal to stay there. Rekindle friendships, listen to music, walk in the sunshine, and be a light in someone else’s life.
You’ll be surprised at how soon you will be enjoying life and feeling better. Make it your goal to stop feeling sorry for yourself and to look at the bright side of life. It’s there. All you have to do is look for it.