Learning to pick yourself up after going through a difficult time is a life skill that is learned. Some of us had the good fortune of being surrounded with people who modeled healthy ways of coping with the hard sh*t in life. Others of us didn't. Usually our family, friends and other impactful people of our past is who we looked to in order to know what to do when hard times came. For better or for worse.
For the record, just like any skill, you can learn techniques and perspectives that will help you pass through the hard stuff with more ease. It's a matter of trying different coping skills on and exploring which ones work for you.
Here's a couple perspectives for you to revisit or try on when life throws you a tricky obstacle.
Talk to the people in your life whom you trust and who can hold space for you to just BE. Feeling listened to is beyond healing. Writing is another great way to explore, process and release feelings. Do what you know to do in order to express your emotions.
Move Your Body
Your mind and body are connected. Moving your physical body around can help your emotions cycle and push through.
Give Yourself Space
Give yourself space and time to allow the challenge to be processed. Think of your mind as a computer needing to download a heavy file. When our life experiences are dense in emotions, it's important for us to allow time and space for our feelings to be processed.
Focus on Your Needs
It's always important to consider yourself, although, this is especially true when you're experiencing a difficult challenge in your life. Do your best to focus on what you need. Give yourself space to push other people out of your bubble, even if just for a couple minutes, in order to get in tune with what you need.
When all else fails; Breathe friends. Focus on your breath. Use your breath to focus you back into the present. Pay attention to where your breath is coming from in your body. Is your breathing shallow (coming from your chest) or stomach? I can always tell when clients are worked up and anxious because they come in breathing and talking from their chest. Their voice is higher pitched and fast. You want your breath to come from your stomach, not your chest. Use your breath to help soothe you. Use the rhythm of your breath to calm and help ground you.
These are a few quick tips that I hope can give you something to grab onto when you don't know how to cope. As much as hard times challenge us, they also push us to grow in ways that are beyond what we think we're capable of.
This is the silver lining of the difficult times.
* Image by photographer, Amy Lynn Bjornson.