When Life turns to custard and everything looks grim, how are we supposed to make informed decisions and choices? For us, everything looks bleak. There seems to be more problems than solutions.
There are so many variables that this isn’t an easy question to answer. People you know will either tell you to grow up, get over it and get a life or some other far reaching inspiring comment that means absolutely nothing to you.
Now before I go on, nearly all of us will go through something like this in our lives. There is nothing to feel ashamed about having this happen.
“If you have made mistakes… there is always another chance for you. You may have a fresh start at any moment you choose, for this thing we call “failure” is not the falling down, but the staying down.”
…Actress Mary Pickford
So what are the things we can do when we are in the thick of it?
Food and Rest
First and foremost, the most important requirements are food and shelter. Make sure you eat and eat healthily and regularly, (i.e. three square meals) don’t skip any of these. Food gives you the nourishment and energy you need to get through the day at any time, and during times of stress and hardship it is even more necessary.
Rest. Get sleep. Without it you don’t think as well and you certainly don’t act as well. Get into the habit of regular sleep patterns. Staying up all night may be OK once or twice but it’s the regular resting pattern that you set up that will be one of the ingredients to finally help you get up and winning.
Find a Confidant
Although we may feel that everyone needs to hear our issues and problems, most of us grow tired of hearing this after a while. The best way to burn friendships is to always talk about your problems and issues. At some stage the person you are talking to, becomes disillusioned with the conversation and will become distant and aloof. If you concentrate on the other person in your conversation you will take the focus off yourself and find some interesting information about what is going on for the other person.
Find someone you feel confident speaking to and request their help just to listen when you need it. Get out of the habit of talking to everyone about the issue and getting advice from everyone about it. Talking about it with one person will allow you to explore your options and experiences and pick a path to follow.
The people you don’t speak to about your issue will be amazed at your resiliency. They will be attracted to you for what they see is a person who is strong and has the ability to rebound. Something all of us wish to have, in times of stress.
Write a Journal
Now this may seem like a stupid idea, but rest assured that I recommend it. There is nothing like putting the ideas running around and around in your head, down on paper. It brings clarity to the situation and allows you to observe the whole issue. When you try and work it all out in your head, you tend to miss out on important pieces of information. You can tend to get caught up in the reactionary and emotional aspects of life and miss the basic points life is trying to teach you. Writing down the transcript allows you to take an overview, a non judgmental view of your writings. It also acts as a recording so that ideas that really matter don’t get lost in the thinking process.
Don’t think you are a writer? Just surprise yourself. This isn’t a novel you are going to publish, it’s an essay of your thoughts that allows you to decipher, when your emotions aren’t running so high.
Another helpful point is that it can take the focus away from the difficulty. When we wake up in the middle of the night and our mind is full of thoughts and we are totally caught up in the issue, writing it down as we see it at 3am in the morning can clear away the clutter that is disrupting our sleep. We don’t need to find out the answer just yet as we can leave that for the morning. Writing allows us to put it all down to re-evaluate later and by doing this provides that little lifeline allowing us to go back to sleep, knowing we will sort it out in the morning.
Find something to do. An activity that requires thought and action will give us all valuable seconds, minutes, to rest our mind. It will tire the body but refresh the mind. A walk where you think about your problem can just lead you to a feeling of upset. A walk can be helpful though, especially if you have to count your steps along the way. Counting encourages another kind of thought which doesn’t use the emotional blackmail on yourself.
Try thinking about your issue or problem while playing tennis or while doing a crossword. It’s pretty hard. Anything where your mind is occupied achieving a result, is more beneficial than sitting thinking and stewing over the results of an event long past gone.
Find Something To Laugh About
They say laughter is the best medicine. As much as you can try and deny it, try crying when you find something funny. Learn what your sense of humor is… what you find funny… what makes you laugh!!! And then fill up your life with examples of this. On any subject there is 101 different books and ideas on how to overcome difficulties and life’s problems. When you read them, some you will find helpful and some don’t mean a thing. The information may be valuable or it may not. A joke may be neither informative or helpful but a smile can bring relief and joy to an otherwise difficult day. Thrive on those things that make you laugh. Laughter will be the dawn of your new world.
Don’t take Life Seriously
Yes, I know I am being flippant. Your problems, difficulties and issues are a serious business but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious while you deal with them. It is to some degree, just a state of mind. If you think it has to be serious, then there is no way you can relax into a calmness that will oversee the event. Whereas if you can relax, you can approach the issue from the standpoint of dealing with the issue at hand. Without the emotion and disturbances of the past, you actually allow yourself the luxury of being in control (despite your internal concerns).
So there we have it… Six small, but important, points that can change your life. Yes, there are a thousand other “things” you could do. These six points will allow you to explore all the other concepts that will allow you to heal yourself and move on from the difficulties of today. There is always a new dawning. The sun will rise in the morning. Getting you to the morning to see that sun rise will be achieved by doing some or all of the above.
Now I should mention that if you are unable to move forward yourself then there are many professionals that are available to help you and I urge you to seek help. But while you are getting that help, employ the steps above and you will move from being caught as a victim through to being the victor!
May your life never be the same!
Till next week
Bill is a Business Coach. Working with Individuals, Businesses and Organisations to create better environments and to develop and enhance business ”potential”, into successful business practices.
Website in the Company of Coaches
Ph +61 413 949 521
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