Getting back on your feet and being strong in the face of adversity is hard. Sometimes, when we face difficulties, all of our emotions turn negative. We are unable to find the silver lining in bad circumstances. Because of built-in survival mechanisms, our brains are naturally wired to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones, and when we are going through difficult times, we tend to worry a lot, and put all of our focus in our problems. We start to obsess about the future, and as a result, we tend to ignore any positive events that we experience.
The good news is that we can train ourselves to notice and appreciate those positive experiences, in order to help us to overcome adversities. We need to see and acknowledge our problems but also find a way to see the good in our lives, and use the blessings that we have to motivate us to build resiliency. Keeping a positive attitude during adversity means remembering that many of the problems we face are temporary, and that we did overcome setbacks in the past.
When you are feeling down, tracking your feelings in a journal is a good way of letting go of negative emotions. I went through difficult periods in my life, where putting feelings into words helped me to deal with my emotions and heal. Putting your thoughts on paper can provide an emotional release and makes your emotional pain less intense. It’s very common to blame ourselves for all the bad things that happens to us, but self respect is the most important quality we need to be able to overcome difficult times and move forward. Respect yourself by forgiving yourself, accepting yourself and maintaining a positive attitude. When something doesn’t work out the way we’ve hoped, we need to try to focus on what we did right and how hard we tried. Being positive about our future when we go through adversity is possible when we learn to love ourselves and acknowledge our blessings. That’s how we can find the motivation to be willing to take risks in order to achieve our goals. Take a deep breath, focus on living in the present. Let me tell you something: no matter how many obstacles you have in your way, you can decide where to focus your energy. If you feel sad, allow yourself appropriate time to sit with your emotions, acknowledge and feel them before moving on. After you experienced them, tell yourself that the important thing is living your life as it is now, and that you should not worry about what has already passed or what the distant future might hold. As long as you believe that you deserve happiness in life, you will attract positive energy into your life, and you will be able to turn your life around.
Don’t think you are alone and things are never going to get better. I also went through really tough times. I understand how it is to reach a point in life where it seems that everything is falling apart. It feels like your life is going downhill, which makes you feel very sad and negative about the future, but everything you have survived is responsible for who you are today. It is part of your heritage and cannot be taken from you. Through surviving our difficulties, tenderness and compassion naturally arise. Everything you go through in your journey become part of your life story and destiny: it gives you purpose and it shapes you into the strong person that you are.
The more you train your mind to be in a state of peace and calm, the less likely it will bring itself on a downward spiral. Simple things like taking care of your environment, exercising regularly, mediating or praying, eating a balanced diet and taking time to rest can help you to manage stressful times better and bring positive changes. Find inspiration in your life. Inspiration brings hope and positivity. Surround yourself with people who care about you, want the best for you, and believe in you. Practice meditation in order to organise your thoughts and feelings. As little as 15 minutes of meditation a day can energise your soul when life gets tough.
No matter your situation, I can assure you that you can find things to appreciate about your life. Ask for spiritual guidance when you feel lost and fearful. God can change your feelings of suffering when hardships hit, into a new perspective on your life, which will allow you to blossom and become a stronger and wiser person. Remember that sometimes you face difficult times not because you are doing something wrong, but because you are doing something right: smooth seas do not make skilful sailors.