State of mind.
#howto stay confident when everything around you seems to be falling apart...
This week I faced a really challenging situation, and I contacted HerParade because I wanted to share as much as I could about what I learned from my experience, when everything around me seemed to be falling apart. I also want to share tips on how you can handle stress on a daily basis, because I think doing these practices really helped my mindset when I was faced with these challenging situations.
Looking back what happened to me was a situation every woman might face. I was in a foreign city by myself, and I was pretty much homeless because my accommodation plans didn’t work out and at the same time I discovered that my privacy rights had been seriously violated. I had to confront the people responsible, as well as contact and work with the police. It was a very emotionally turbulent and stressful time, but I like to think that I handled the situation confidently and got the best outcome for myself!
So now turning to you, I want you to think of the last time you dealt with something incredibly difficult or painful. Did it feel like the situation would never end? or that you would never be okay again?
But somehow, you made it through.
Maybe you don’t know how, but you made it through.
You’ve survived 100% of your worst days so far, and in time, you can learn to cope with any similar situation or the difficult situation at hand.
- How long will the extreme distress last before it settles down into a dull ache?
- How long will the dull ache last before it becomes more of a memory?
In response to stressors and challenging situations, you are likely to be your own worst critic.
You may tell yourself that the situation is awful, you can’t cope or won’t make it through, or that it’s all your fault because you made really bad choices, so you should feel really bad about yourself.
But, would ever say these same pessimistic and hurtful things to someone you care about? if they were in a similar situation?
If these thoughts are not true for your loved ones, they are not true for you.
- What would I tell my best friend in this situation (whatever you share is likely true for you too)?
- What is a more positive, optimistic and/or hopeful way to view the situation?
- How can I view myself (or the situation) with kindness and compassion?
Here are tips how I would approach a difficult time and situation:
- Focus less on the stressor and more on solving the problem.
- Keep your thoughts balanced and truthful.
- Brainstorm a list of possible solutions, analyze the pros and cons of each option and make a plan (it’s best to do all of this in writing versus just in your head). You may not come up with a great solution, but at least you can rest assured that you are doing everything you can.
Remember that sometimes, “acceptance” of a situation is the best (or only) solution.
Acceptance doesn’t mean you are okay with the situation, it just means you are choosing to remove the situation’s power over your life.
Remember, you are MORE than this one situation! Make sure you take time away from the problem or situation and do the things that help you feel normal and in control. As much as possible, stick to your normal routine and take care of yourself mentally and physically. It’s all about balance, so make sure you spend time with the people you care about and do the things that make you feel happy.
Ancient techniques practiced in many Eastern traditions like Yoga or Meditation are known to be an effective way of coping with daily stress. Try to find a group or classes to meditate or practice Yoga together.
Many thoughts will enter your mind as you meditate. Don’t try to stop them, but don’t follow them either. Just let them pass through. Some people like to keep a note pad next to them in case a thought arises that needs to be remembered - for instance, a chore that you had forgotten or a solution to a problem that’s been plaguing you.
It’s a gentle process: you may not notice any particular effect from it at first. The key is to do it regularly, day after day. Think of drops of water slowly wearing away a mountain of anxiety. Gradually, you’ll find yourself getting more centered and more capable of calmly facing the many stresses of your busy life.
The most important thing is to stay confident: remember who you are and what you‘ve already been through in your life. Tough situations happen but it’s your choice how to react and cope with them so make the best out of it instead of getting depressed.
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Produced by HerParade in collaboration with @followthcoco