All of us will face difficulties throughout life. Our challenge is what to do when they occur. There are no magic formulas for preventing or resolving them. Avoiding a difficult situation or emotion may feel like an effective stopgap measure, but in fact it simply postpones and may escalate or exacerbate a flood of negative feelings and other problems on down the road.
When facing difficulties, I have discovered that prayer is always a calming factor and I ask God for direction and guidance. Perhaps this will work for you. Also, here are additional strategies for facing difficulties in the new year:
- Talk about it. Ryan Howes, Ph. D, said “when people bottle up challenging situations, the problems grow and mutate into horrible worries and anxieties.” Worries will create stress in your life and stress can lead to greater health problems.
- Try to see past the hardship. When you’re in a crisis, it’s hard to see any upside. But, with some distance, you may be able to see the situation in a different light. For example, some lost jobs lead to better jobs, some broken relationships lead to relationships that are a better fit, and some panic leads to finally getting the help you need.
- Prioritize self-care. Self-care is critical to surviving tough situations. Many medical professionals recommend ten minutes of meditation each day to pace yourself and to provide the necessary time to reboot your mind and body.
- Practice acceptance. Let go of that which you cannot control. Try making a list of everything you don’t have control over. These are the things you can stop worrying about. The key to your sanity is focusing on what you can control, like your self-care, your words, your actions, and your decisions.
- Ask for help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Let others know what you need, such as support and compassion, and what you don’t need is criticism. Seeking support from your loved ones also strengthens those relationships.
- Finally, Limit time with toxic people. These are individuals who are not supportive or reliable and don’t have your best interest at heart. They don’t listen to you, and might even be critical, judgmental or demanding.
In 2020, be prepared for difficulties and hope for more blessings than hardships. Never give up! Never give up! Never give up!