It can be difficult to process situations when you feel like the world is against you. Ever heard the phrase, “when it rains, it pours”? Getting repeatedly knocked on your ass sucks. And life seems to be a series of good v. bad waves. When the good waves are rolling we’re happy and life is good, but when those rough bad waves come in…we have to hold on tight. Learning how to deal when things don’t go your way isn’t something they teach you in school. It’s something we develop throughout our lives. I believe in the power of positive thought and if you put good out into the world it will come back to you, but of course there is the unexpected; things that are completely out of your control. All we can do is learn how to react to them in a positive way. While I’m far from perfect, I’m learning many valuable techniques for dealing with the stress and anxiety associated with negative situations:
1. Remove Yourself – Take a step back, leave and distance yourself from whatever the problem may be. Go for a walk, head to the movies or stop by a friend’s house to give yourself a break. A little distance will help you gain perspective into the situation and help you evaluate the real problem.
2. Evaluate The Problem- In the moment it might seem like the end of the world. But taking the time to evaluate the problem and putting it into perspective on a larger scale might help alleviate the stress. It can also help to think:
are others going through this same problem?
is this truly going to effect the rest of my life or am I blowing it out of proportion?
what is the real reason this is happening? (not the one you make up in the moment)
3. Vent If You Have To- Sometimes the best remedy when shit seems to hit the fan is just a good old-fashioned vent-sesh. Cry it out, scream, yell, (maybe don’t hit or destroy anything though) laugh, however you process the emotion, do it. But give yourself a time limit and do it in a safe space. Find supportive, loving people that will listen without judging or influencing you.
4. Take a Break and Process- Dealing with problems or conflict can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining. After venting and releasing all the pent up emotion, a solid break is in order. Then it’s time to process and begin developing ways to either fix, change or accept the problem or situation.
6. Discover The Real Problem- More often than not things that seem to not go our way are actually a result from our reactions to a problem. Maybe the real problem isn’t what we were originally upset about. Taking the necessary time to analyze and discover the true root of the problem is the most effective way of dealing with it.
7. Accept And Move On- Whether or not you are able to come to a solution or resolution, learning to accept is very important to dealing more positively with situations. Of course it’s much easier said than done, but it’s do-able. I recently had something happen to me that caused me a lot of pain and distress. My anxiety amplified it ten-fold and there was a point I couldn’t imagine coming to the point of acceptance. Once I was able to simply accept it and accept that what will be, will be, I allowed myself to re-focus on the good and shift my attention away from the negative situation.
8. Learn, Evolve, Forgive- Developing the ability to learn from your mistakes, while evolving your beliefs and thinking is crucial to dealing with things more effectively in the future. I’m a much different person than I was four years ago. Life has thrown me a lot of curve balls and while I’ll be the first to admit I don’t always handle them correctly. The most important thing is learning how to forgive.
Forgiveness is the strongest form of therapy that I know.
Especially when it comes to forgiving yourself. Learn how to forgive yourself and the rest becomes much easier.
Everyone is different. No one reacts to the same situation in the same way. That would make life pretty boring. But being able to handle conflict and problems in a more positive, effective way makes life much easier to navigate. I’m still learning how to manage my emotions, my mental stability and reactions. That part is hard and I can’t put pressure on myself to change overnight. But there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to dealing with problems. And if all else fails:
Sometimes it helps for me to tally up all my problems on any given day because I find I still always have less than Jay Z….99 is a lot of problems don’t you think?