Wouldn’t it be nice if everything could just go smoothly and easily? Yea, we know where this is headed.
Many of us feel like we go through an ebb and flow of good times and bad times which is why when a difficult situation pops up, our emotions often heighten, and we go back into fight or flight mode. Here is the thing, difficult situations are always going to come up. It’s just part of life. The good news? These situations don’t have to throw you off or send you into a spiral of stress. The more you can learn and practice how to handle yourself and your emotions during these difficult times the easier it will become to stay in the flow and out of fight or flight mode so you can continue to have a good day.
Here are some tips to help you make the most out of those difficult situations
- Take deep breaths – I know everyone says this but honestly it works. If you close your eyes and picture a puppy or ocean or just try to clear your mind and take a few deep breaths it gives you a moment to detach yourself from the emotion you’re feeling so you can respond more rationally and it helps to calm the nervous system. Another way to relax is to use the 5 senses or grounding technique where you focus on one sense at a time. For example, you take a few breaths and focus on what you hear and be observant without judging. Then focus on what you taste, then smell, etc.
- Instead of saying, “I am,” try saying, “I feel.” Again, this helps you to acknowledge your feelings, but it reminds you that you are not your feelings and that feelings are temporary. You can also take this a step further by changing the vocabulary of the situation. For example, look at the following two sentences about being cut off in traffic and see which elicits more of an emotional response. “That a-hole is such an idiot! Who does he think he is?” “That guy just cut me off. That’s kind of annoying.” See how changing your vocabulary can change your emotional response?
- Think of past times when you encountered a difficult situation. Did you get through it? Of course you did, you’re here! And you will get through this situation too. As the saying goes, “This too shall pass.” Look back at how you got through the previous situation and see if you can apply any of those same actions to this situation. You are always stronger than you know and more resilient than you realize.
- Ask yourself better questions. Instead of, “why me,” ask, “what can this teach me?” Ask yourself, “How can I learn from this? How is this working for me instead of against me?” Often times we think the world is working against us when most of the time it’s working for us. Have you ever wanted something so bad and ended up not getting it? Then a few years later you’re glad it didn’t work out? A simple example of this is the obvious one where there was that guy or girl you liked but it didn’t work out and then you realize later you dodged a bullet. Ever been there? Pretty sure everyone can raise their hand.
- This last tip is about being a student. I don’t mean in a university or taking some course for a job. I mean a student of life. Would you expect a 5-year-old to know how to do algebra? Of course not. As we get older, we tend to think we know everything, not necessarily in a know-it-all bad way but in the sense of we should know better and what to do in any situation. I don’t know if you have some super human power but I’m guessing you’re not a fortune teller so unless you have been in a similar situation before, there is no way to know what the right thing to do is; you can only use your best judgement. We so often beat ourselves up for mistakes, though, because of that perfectionist attitude. Spoiler alert, you will constantly make mistakes. How you use those mistakes is what speaks to your character. So, become a student of the world and of life and use these situations as lessons and education rather than an opportunity to beat yourself up.
I hope these tips help you the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation or needing a pick-me-up. For more tips feel free to follow me on Facebook at @lulubellalifestyle or head to my webpage, www.lulubellalifestyle.com.