Healthy Mind

Tips For Coping With Tough Times

Written by Roz Andrews

If you are in the midst of a challenging situation, daily life can seem like an uphill struggle. Whether you are unemployed or are faced with a family or personal problem, it can be difficult to survive everyday life with such troubles on your mind. Here are some tips for coping with day-to-day life and, if possible, taking positive action to improve your circumstances.

Take Each Day at a Time. If your future is uncertain, try not to look too far into the future. Try and enjoy today and live life in the present moment. Do as much as you can today to try and improve your situation.
Worrying about the future will not help to change your circumstances and it can lead to a kind of mental paralysis, resulting in inaction and depression. However, at the same time, it is important not to feel guilty if you do worry about the future several times a day. It is very difficult not to do this if your situation has an uncertain outlook. Talking to a close friend or writing about your worries and fears in a personal journal can bring them into the open and loosen the grip they have on you.

Go Outside and Get Some Exercise. If you stay indoors all the time and stare at the same four walls, it is inevitable that you will soon start to feel depressed. Therefore, commit yourself to going outside at least once every day and doing some exercise. A brisk walk in the fresh air can be a great mood-lifter. If you prefer to jog or run, vary your route often and you will benefit from the change of scenery as well as the exercise.

Be Thankful. Even if your circumstances are extremely challenging, there should still be some things in your life that you can be thankful for. Even if they are as simple as a comforting cup of hot chocolate or a beautiful sunset, each day brings us several moments that make us grateful that we are alive.
When you find negative thoughts creeping into your head, grab a piece of paper and write down up to 10 things you are thankful for. Before you reach the end of the list, you will be feeling much better.

Set Yourself Goals. No matter how desperate your situation may appear, there are still some tasks that you could accomplish with a view to improving your circumstances. For example, if you are out of work, you could set yourself a target of finding and applying for a certain number of jobs each day.

The goals that you set should be realistic and not too difficult to achieve, otherwise you will set yourself up for failure and this could result in feeling worse about your situation, which in itself could lead to depression.

Try to Remain Positive. If you are going through a problematic period in your life, it is difficult, if not impossible, to remain positive all of the time. However, remaining as positive as possible in difficult circumstances does have several benefits. If you have a positive attitude, you will be more likely to try different courses of action that may improve your situation. If, on the other hand, you have a negative attitude, you will be more inclined to feel that there is no point in trying to change your circumstances, and your attitude may mean that you don’t take a step forward that will lead to a substantial improvement in your situation.

It is also important to remember that, although you may have little or no control over your circumstances at the moment, you have full control over your feelings. It can be very liberating to realize this! A positive attitude leads to positive action and your situation will be much more likely to improve more quickly through positive action.

Expect Some Bad Days. It is very likely that there will be some days when everything seems to go wrong and the future seems bleak. All you can do on such days is to hang in there and tell yourself tomorrow will be better, because even the most difficult circumstances can change quickly. If you keep doing your best and moving forward, it is extremely likely your situation will change for the better at some point in the future.

So, live in the present moment as far as possible, do some physical activity each day, be grateful for the good things in life, set goals and work steadily towards them, adopt a positive attitude, and survive the worst days in the best way that you can. Your reserves of patience, perseverance and determination will increase. At the end of this difficult period, you will be a stronger person and much more capable of dealing with any challenges that may arise in future.

STORY: Roz Andrews


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Roz Andrews

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