Just a couple of weeks ago, I was involved in a serious car accident. It was an incredibly frightening experience, but thankfully no one was seriously injured. However, in just a matter of moments, my circumstances were changed in a significant way. This is life, isn’t it? You can have an established plan in mind, you are ready to take action, and then…something unexpected. In my case, it was this car accident. That morning began like any other. My schedule was filled with client coaching sessions and other meetings, yet it all suddenly had to take a backseat to the current crisis.
Just a few days ago, I learned that the car insurance company had classified my brand new car as totaled from the accident. Not good. However, now I get to shop for another new car. Much better, wouldn’t you say?
First you’re down, then you’re up. Then you’re down again, and in just a short amount of time, you’re back on top. Life is known for its ups and downs. We must endure the difficult times in order to fully enjoy and appreciate the wonderful moments. If you’ve ever struggled to maintain a sound mind while riding the rollercoaster of life, consider employing these four key strategies that will help you to navigate life’s ups and downs.
DO NOT SEEK A CAUSE OR POINT BLAME
Sometimes we cannot find a reason for the things that happen in our lives. Accidents do happen. Do not waste time or energy endlessly trying to rationalize what has occurred or searching for someone to blame. Doing so will only cause you stress and lead you to be less productive. Instead, think about what you can do to better your situation given the circumstances. The past cannot be changed. However, you are in complete control of how you react to your new situation.
SEE THE GROWTH
As human beings, we are constantly learning from our experiences and that of those around us. Often times, we will learn even more during moments of great struggle or adversity. Think about the last time that you went through a difficult period in your life? Now that you are removed from the situation and have the benefit of complete clarity, certainly you can discern several lessons learned from the experience. And the next time you find yourself in one of life’s “downs,” just know that you will grow from the experience, even if you do not yet know what the outcome will be.
FOCUS ON THE CONSTANT
Most people prefer a bit of certainty in their lives. However, in the midst of life’s ups and downs, certain areas of one’s life can become unpredictable and stressful. When confronted with this instability, you can choose to focus on an area of your life that has remained constant throughout all the turmoil. For example, if you have become stressed while experiencing a transition in employment, consider focusing your attention on the constant in your life; for many, this could include family members—a spouse, children, or even pets. Try to think and worry less about what is troubling you and instead cling to that constant in your life that provides a sense of comfort and familiarity. This will sustain you through the trying times.
INDULGE IN SIMPLE PLEASURES
Life can be tough. Sometimes, you simply need to relax and indulge a bit. Don’t become so focused on success or following the perfect plan that you forget to enjoy life. Indulge in simple pleasures such as taking a walk, eating a delicious meal, spending time with friends and family. These practices will do wonders for your spirit and mindset, and they serve as gentle reminders to what is most important in life.
When all else fails, find comfort in knowing that the bad times will pass and great moments will present themselves once again. In the meantime, use these strategies to help maintain your focus and optimism until your circumstances make a change for the better.
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