Nearly everyone faces challenges and difficult circumstances at some point, and most of us deal with difficult situations several times in our life. Finding healthy ways to deal with difficult situations is important for both your mental and emotional health. Try these simple strategies to find new ways to navigate through difficult circumstances with less stress and more focus.
Set Realistic Goals
Finding a solution to every problem isn’t always possible. To manage the stress of circumstances that you can’t control, write down things that you can do to make the situation better, and make a list of things you can’t change. Put the list of things you can’t change aside, and limit the amount of time you worry about those issues to just a few minutes a day. This allows you to focus on solving issues that have realistic, attainable solutions.
Reaching out to close friends, family members, or community leaders provides you with both a new perspective and support during difficult times. Just talking about your problems can provide some mental and emotional relief, and your support network may be able to provide you with valuable feedback.
For instance, asking friends for emergency dentist recommendations may help you find after-hours treatment in your local area. Try to avoid negative people if you are dealing with challenging circumstances. Anyone who isn’t supportive may cause you to feel more emotional turmoil, leading to more stress and a less hopeful view of the future.
Write About It
Journaling for just 15 minutes a day can help you face challenging situations more calmly and helps reduce feelings like sadness and anger. Any type of notebook or paper is suitable for your daily journal, but try to be honest and open in your writing.
Some thoughts and feelings are difficult to express, but focus on being as truthful and open as possible to enjoy the greatest benefits from journaling. If privacy is a concern, consider keeping a document on your laptop, mobile phone or home computer. These options allow you to set a password on your personal documents, keeping your thoughts securely protected.
Find Inspiration and Strength
Being true to your own emotions and finding inner strength are often necessary when facing a situation that is out of your control. For example, feelings like grief don’t follow a set timeline and everyone has a unique reaction to loss. Following your own timeline and seeking out ideas, people or experiences that inspire you to find inner strength are often the necessary for healing when life brings losses that can’t be recouped.
Look for Silver Linings
Sometimes, challenging situations have a silver lining that brings new experiences or opportunities that you might have otherwise missed. For instance, being unemployed after your company downsizes gives you the opportunity to think about your dream job and assess your skills in the workforce. You may find that you have surprising dreams that are attainable with a little work.
For example, getting an advanced degree may open doors in your dream industry, or you may find that something like working for a non-profit brings more satisfaction than you thought possible. Keep an open mind and explore your feelings honestly to find the silver linings that are so easy to miss when you are facing a challenge.
Seeking the help of a counselor or therapist can help you work through some of the more difficult aspects you face during difficult circumstances. Therapists are usually covered by insurance, and some mental health providers offer their services on a sliding scale so you can find help in your community at a low cost. Local support groups may also be an option. Finding supportive people, whether a friend or a therapist, is often the most effective way to move through difficult circumstances with courage, perseverance and hope for the future.