For many of us, navigating life has been very difficult in the last year. The "what ifs" and worst-case scenarios don't seem to leave our minds - or our newsfeeds.
When we face uncertainties about what the future will hold, it can be quite daunting. Sometimes it may seem as if nothing will ever get better and there's no way out. You may feel helpless and frustrated because you don't seem to have control over your life.
When gloomy thoughts race through your mind, when you feel like you're being consumed by darkness, it can be hard to make sense of it all and stay still.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the way your life is unfolding right now, know that it's completely normal.
Also, remember that you not alone in feeling like this, but we can all use a few helpful ways to get through this. Here are a few reminders to help you respond to life with a calmer mindset.
Need some constructive advice? 7 Ways to Stop Anxiety & Chronic Stress From Ruining Your Life
Nothing is forever. Things are always changing. You will inevitably experience both good and bad times. The key is not to get carried away in the ups and downs of life.
Nothing lasts forever, so there's no point in clinging onto something unpleasant and making those feelings last longer. It only creates more suffering for you. While everything may feel like it's tumbling down around you, your current circumstances are temporary.
Whatever you're going through right now, it will pass. Things will change for the better. Don't automatically assume everything is doomed.
Positive thinking doesn't mean that you keep your head in the sand and ignore life's less pleasant situations. Positive thinking just means that you approach unpleasantness in a more positive and productive way. You think the best is going to happen, not the worst. - The Mayo Clinic
Shift your focus to things you can improve instead of worrying about things that are out of your control.
When everything seems to be spinning out of control, the last thing you want to do is overanalyze how bad it is. Ignoring your problems won't make them go away. But obsessing about your problems won't eliminate them either.
Take a break from thinking about your problems. Let your positive energy take charge. Engage in activities you get pleasure from: go for a walk, read a book, talk to a friend. If you've already spent a lot of time thinking about your situation, recognize that the solution to your problems don't lie in ruminating over them.
Your mind may give you plenty of thoughts about what you should be scared of. But you don't have to accept those thoughts as the truth.
Most of your deepest pain and frustration will come from the way you respond in your everyday life.
You have complete control over how you react. And this makes all the difference.
You can control your emotional responses to the unexpected situation in life.
Each time you find yourself feeling irritated or anxious by an external event, take a few deep breaths and try to let it go. It seems simple, but it can remove you form the initial panic or fear from hearing bad news or being disappointed.
Reacting with an anxious mind rarely helps. You're more likely to make bad decisions and end up feeling even worse!
Instead of impulsively reacting to your circumstances, just pause, even walk away, and take some time to think about your response.
Just be here now. Pause and breathe. It's okay. You're going to be okay. Give yourself some time to calmly think about the big picture.
It is one of life’s laws that as soon as one door closes another opens. But the tragedy is we look at the closed door and disregard the open one. - Andre Gide
When life changes around you, you start to look at life from a different perspective.
Life will always throw difficult situations at us.
As much unsettling it might feel, unexpected changes make you step out of your usual patterns and routines. You get the opportunity to make a fresh start and let go of anything that no longer serves you.
In a way, feeling lost and confused can be a good thing because it pushes you to actually work towards finding clarity. In tough times, you begin to recognize what's truly important to you.
Confidence comes from victory, but strength comes from the struggle. - Arnold Schwartzenegger
Willie Nelson, Cyndi Lauper, Martha Stewart and MC Hammer all have seen tremendous success - but also extreme failure, including bankruptcy, unknowingly not paying taxes, a failed band and going to prison.
Despite seemingly impossible odds, they overcame and were stronger going forward, because they knew what it felt like to lose. Don't underestimate your inner strength. We all have this inherent ability to persevere in really difficult times.
When going through tough times in life, many of us start obsessing over the negative events and tell ourselves we can never be happy again.
However, if you remain fixated on the idea that everything sucks in your life and nothing will ever get better, you will ignore the good things that could be happening right in front of you.
Take a minute to sincerely appreciate anything that's going well in your life.
If life seems hard for you right now, it doesn't mean everything will wrong. There must be something good in your life or someone who always brings a smile to your face. Focusing on the good things in life helps you become more resilient.
Embrace all the goodness you can find. Cherish those silly, tiny moments of happiness. Focusing on positive things has a positive effect on your brain, making you feel more relaxed and calm.
Keep believing that good times are coming.
No matter the external circumstances, you can always tap into your inner peace.
Maintaining your inner peace involves letting go of resentment and anger. Again, this doesn't mean that you won't feel these emotions. The key is to stop holding on to them. Just let them pass. Don't engage.
As you return to the present moment, your worries will begin to dissipate. Despite all the chaos, and confusion, and distractions, you can find stillness within yourself.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring. All we do have is right now. In the present, you can make a choice to be grateful and remain patient.
There's always a way out.
You never know, a new day might bring the much-needed solution to your problems. For a change, try entertaining the thought that maybe things aren't as bad as they seem. Let go and see what happens.
One way people find calmness is meditation. Read How to Master Meditation: The Art of Mindfulness
As I said at the beginning of the post, you're not alone in feeling scared and unsure.
We can all use a little more kindness and compassion right now.
Let's help each other in keeping it together. Speak kind words, lend an ear, offer help, and remain hopeful.
You got this!
August 10, 2022
August 9, 2022