Let's be real here. Sometimes life can be tough. Really tough.
I know because I'm going through a tough spell myself. It seems every facet of my life is difficult right now and there's no way around it. I have to wade through each day and do the best I can so someday (hopefully, very soon) I can be on the other side of these dark waters enjoying the sunny beaches of life instead.
So I'd like to share 3 tips that help me get through tough times like these -- faster and easier.
Focus On What You Want
When times are tough, I find it easy to fall in the habit of complaining about your troubles all the time.
Although you do want to acknowledge your feelings, you shouldn't focus on everything that isn't going right in your life.
Besides the fact venting about problems usually makes you feel like garbage afterwards, you will actually be farther from finding a solution to the problem by doing so. Instead, you will actually perpetuate the problem.
This is because your brain can only focus on the problem or focus on finding a solution to the problem. It can't do both -- effectively, anyway.
So the more time you place your focus on griping about how awful your life has been; thereby, taking your focus away from solution-seeking, the less likely you will find a solution.
You have to focus on what you want as much as possible so your brain knows what it's searching for and will, therefore, find your solution as quickly as possible.
So instead of focusing on everything that is going wrong, focus on what it is you'd like to make happen instead.
Focus On Gratitude
Good things rarely happen to people with bad attitudes.
And nothing works better on improving your attitude then practicing gratitude.
Whenever I feel like things are especially rough, I do this exercise. I take out a sheet of paper and list out 10 things about my life that I'm thankful for.
You can write down anything on this list -- big or small -- as long as it makes you feel happy.
Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly down, I write things like I'm grateful I can breathe without a ventilator, which usually puts things in perspective for me. On other days, I may write down something small like having the money to buy organic raspberries.
By the time I get to number 10, I always feel better than when I started the list.
Keep Your Spirits Up
Along with practicing gratitude, I do things to consciously keep my spirits up.
This is important because being happy makes every experience easier to go through. The easier it is to go through your tough time, the less tough the time will be.
And yes, there is no rule that you have to be absolutely miserable when you're going through tough times. You can choose to be happy instead because happiness is merely a state of mind truly independent of your circumstances.
One way I keep my spirits up is by doing 1 or 2 things that make me happy on a weekly basis.
Do things like sign up for that pottery class you've been meaning to take for ages. Go to the movies once a week. Take a Sunday morning hike. Whatever it is that makes you happy, make a point to do it at least once a week, if not daily.
If you're going through financial tough times, this happy act doesn't require money. Sometimes, I just listen to my favorite comedy acts while I work to keep my spirits up and it works every time!
In the end, we can't always avoid going through tough times but we can always choose to react to those times in ways that help us find solutions and happiness faster and easier. I know from my experience these 3 tips help me do just that and I know they will help you too.