Managing the tough timesExperiencing challenging phases in life can really test your mental fortitude. When you encounter those bumps in the road, how do you react? Are you able to deal effectively with these challenges without going to pieces? Could you use some help in finding your inner strength?

Here are some suggestions to help you tap in to your emotional reserves whenever the going gets tough:

1. Take some time to ponder the present dilemma. What do you see as the real issue? Are you making a mountain out of a mole-hill? How can you focus your efforts on the current event that’s troubling you?

2. Acknowledge your fears about the situation. Before you can show resilience to move forward, it’s important to recognize any fears that may be hindering you. Confronting your fears may actually be the first steps in the healing process.

3. Consider every option. Writing down your options for overcoming your challenge will help you see the situation from all angles.

• Brainstorming as many solutions as you can is a great start to finding a workable option.

• Be open-minded. Sometimes you have to resist the urge to overlook or dismiss possible solutions based on your biases. Every viable possibility should be considered.

• Considering every possible solution builds resilience.

4. Approach the challenge with positivity. It may sound over-simplified, but you can either approach a stumbling block with the mindset, “I don’t think I’m going to survive it” or “I’m going to do my best and make my way through this situation.” Taking a positive approach will compel you to move forward through the crisis. Be optimistic!

5. Avoid looking too far ahead. Focus on what’s going on in this moment. Sometimes, it helps to make it through 1 hour at a time.

• Concentrate your energy on what you can do in the here and now.

6. Pray. Draw from your faith to help you through. Spirituality regularly assists millions of people to live consistently healthy, happy lives. If this is not something you have relied upon in the past, there is no time like the present to rely on your faith to strengthen you.

7. Seek emotional support from those you love. Any troubling event is easier to navigate through when you feel the love and support from someone close to you. Bolster your “resilience reserves” by getting a little help from your friends and family members.

• Although it might be difficult for you to reach out and say, “I’m struggling,” think of it this way, those who love you relish the chance to be there for you when you need them. Accept the love and support that your loved ones are so willing to provide. You’ll likely have a chance in the future to reciprocate.

8. Soothe yourself. What calms you down, makes you feel peace, and brings you simple joy? Take time to participate in your favorite activities to soothe your frayed emotions.

• Taking a walk in the woods, swimming a few laps at the pool, or working on a hobby at home can be one of the most self-soothing things you can do when you’re experiencing a difficult life phase.

Life has many experiences both positive and negative. All of our experiences shape who we are and determine the quality of our lives. Use these strategies to help you draw on your inner strength to live a more meaningful and enriched existence, no matter what type of challenge you encounter.

Dr. Tracey Marks
Dr. Tracey Marks

Helping busy people achieve their best through effective lifestyle choices that improve their personal and professional lives.


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