“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
You are going to experience adverse situations throughout your life. Some people simply react to the situation, which in most instances, doesn’t yield the healthiest result. Some people are more mindful of the situation, arming them with the ability to react skillfully. What do you do to stay balanced and positive during the tough stretches?
1. Accept that times are tough right now- There is a tendency for people to avoid acceptance of the inimical situations. It is human nature. You aren’t willing to come to terms with the fact that you lost your job, a loved one died, or your partner ended the relationship. It may sound backward or counterintuitive, but in order to improve the situation you first need to accept it. Denying that the adversity is real in the present moment is counterproductive to maintaining a balanced and positive perspective.
Acceptance doesn’t mean you are giving up, and not attempting to better your current position. It means you understand this negative occurrence is out of your control, and there is nothing you can do to alter its present influence in your life. Now you can move on to repairing the situation.
2. Believe that it will get better sooner than later- Too often you experience something negative and you ascertain the belief that the present difficulties are permanent. The sooner you comprehend that unfavorable circumstances are not perpetual, the better you become at encountering adversity.
After you have accepted the current situation by being present with it you should find comfort in the belief that it will get better. You aren’t going to be stuck in misfortune forever. Often what causes your hardship to continue is your lack of belief that it will improve.
3. Concentrate on what is going well in your life- When you are experiencing troubling times in your life it might seem challenging for you to locate even one positive in your life. Search harder. There are plenty of positives in your life that you can choose to focus on.
Even the most extreme situations offer you an opportunity to be balanced and positive. I have read numerous articles about terminal cancer patients who decided to spend their last days living rather than dying. These people have as much of a right as anyone to feel sorry for themselves and bemoan their current situations. They choose to concentrate on all the wonderful things life has provided them.
If you aren’t healthy than focus on a loved one in your life who is. Perhaps that will lend you the strength needed to recover, and at the very least, exist with a balanced perspective. If you experience loss of a job, loved one, or partner in a relationship, try concentrating on what you have gained from the situation. If you can’t do that than be grateful for your health. Concentrate on the people in your life that love you and depend on you for guidance and support. Be grateful for another day of life which is something many people take for granted.
4. Develop a strategy for overcoming adversity- Instead of allowing calamity to overwhelm you when it occurs, prepare for it. You are unable to account for every negative situation in your life but you can ready yourself through daily practice for anything that might occur. You shouldn’t focus on planning for the next big crisis in your life, rather you should equip yourself with the skills that assist you in living a more balanced and positive life. Focus on activities that help you become more aware. This awareness should be geared not only towards your external world but your inner self as well. Since much of your thinking is flawed, and seemingly out of your control, concentrate on that.
Mindful meditation, daily gratitude, journaling, nature walks, and any other positive leisure activities are great examples of ways to introduce more balance in your life. Learn more about your thoughts, and how they guide your actions throughout the day. Discover which thoughts are helpful and which are detrimental. Keep track of your thoughts so you can observe the rationality or irrationality of them.
Determine what strategy works for you. Perhaps you appreciate a walk through nature more than ten minutes of mindful meditation. Find what works for you and stick to it. Consistency is crucial.
As you gain more awareness of your thoughts you will gain more power over your actions. This power supports you in making skilled decisions, which are especially imperative during adverse times. There are going to be necessary times to grieve and be sad. Developing a sound strategy to combat adversity will fortify your ability to maintain balance.
5. Express negative emotions freely- Maintaining balance and a positive perspective is not predicated on bottling up negative emotions. This is counterproductive and dangerous.
Give yourself the freedom to express your emotions as you see fit. As long as you aren’t seriously harming yourself or others in the process, release the negative emotions you are feeling. Holding them in can lead to long term emotional problems.
With the appropriate mind set you should feel free to express sorrow, anger, disappointment, etc. Allowing these emotions to ultimately overtake your ability to live fully and happily is not healthy. Feel free to articulate your emotions for as long as you need but don’t forget to commit yourself to rebalancing your emotional scale.