Life is tough, and sometimes we face difficulties and challenges that overwhelm us. People hurt us by letting us down. Relationships fail. We can lose our jobs. Loved ones pass away. Disaster can strike at any time, and we are left to pick up the pieces. It can seem as if there is no hope, and trying to get back on the road to recovery is a long, slow process. You might ask yourself, ‘why me?’ Unfortunately, none of us are immune to life’s problems, whether they are on a small or large scale. However, there is hope, even when you can’t see a way out of your struggles. Here are some suggestions you may find helpful when you are struggling to cope.
Pursue a sense of peace
When problems arise, our normal reaction is to look for answers. Yet, sometimes there is no answer. Instead of focusing your energy on why something happened to you, turn that focus around into finding peace instead. Accept what has happened to you, no matter how difficult this may be, and find safe ways to move on. Remember the saying, ‘accept what you cannot change; have the courage to change the things you can, and have the wisdom to know the difference.’ These words are true. So, if something can’t be changed, give yourself an emotional break, and fall into acceptance. Time does heal, no matter how glib that sounds.
During difficult periods, it is normal to experience negative feelings. However, wallowing in them for too long is unhealthy for your mental health. Therefore, make an effort to partake in activities you enjoy. Spend time with people who will lift you out of your sorrow, and not relish in it with you. Make time to get healthy, to strengthen both your body and mind. In short, take a break from your emotions. While your problem may not go away, you may find renewed strength to deal with it.
When we are hurting, we can easily fall into destructive behaviors. This may include indulging in addictive behaviors, such as taking drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Some people self-harm. These are short-time solutions to finding relief but will do nothing to help in the longer term. In fact, they will create further problems. So, don’t shut yourself away and fall prey to any behavior that will bring you greater harm. If you fall into these traps, book yourself into a drug rehab, speak to a medical professional, and consider counseling. There are people and places you can go to for help, without becoming trapped within your wounded existence.
Forgiveness works in two ways. For starters, be merciful towards those who have hurt you. You don’t have to like these people, but becoming bitter and twisted in your attitude towards them is going to hurt you more than it hurts them. Don’t pursue revenge, either. It will only create greater chaos in your life. Instead, tell yourself that you forgive them, and practice this mantra until it becomes a reality. Secondly, forgive yourself. Your situation may be down to your mistakes, and you may have hurt others in the process. You can’t change what has happened, but you can move on from it. Apologize to those you have hurt, whether they accept your apologies or not, and then move forward with confidence, making an effort to change your present and future for the better. Shame will eat you up inside, so don’t let it define you.
It’s easy to read the words above and disregard them, especially when you are in a great deal of pain. Please don’t. Seek help when you need to, and be kind to yourself and others. There is hope, and you do have the capability to move on. You may need to take things one day at a time, but life will get better eventually.