How To Survive Difficult Times
The last few weeks have been really difficult you guys. I felt like every time I started making progress life would just knock me down. It was really discouraging because I have been working so hard this year and I really started to wonder if I had really made any progress at all. Here are all the things I did to get my mindset right and survive difficult times. I did a whole podcast episode on this experience you can check out if you want to hear all the details. You can find it on Podbean or iTunes.
Change Your Focus
The more time you spend thinking a thought the truer it starts to feel. I had to get really intentional about cutting out negative thoughts. My favorite way to change my negative thought patterns is to disprove them. I usually do this in my journal by writing the negative thought, crossing it out and then writing below it all the reasons it is not 100% fact. Once I have all the reasons written down I will write something that feels better to believe instead. Here is what that looks like.
Negative Thought: Nothing good ever happens to me
Reasons this is not 100% fact: Actually, there are lots of good things that happen to me every day. Even though I’m having a hard time right now I still have so many things to be thankful for. I am so thankful my body is healthy, my family is close by and I have this house to live in. I know this phase is going to pass and I am surrounded by blessings right now.
New belief: I know that I always learn the most important lessons during tough times and I know that someday I will be able to look back on this and see it really was for my good overall. I am so blessed and good things are always happening to me.
Whenever I’m really struggling I make an effort to switch into gratitude. I have a podcast episode that talks all about how I use small events to inspire gratitude rampages throughout the day. You can check it out on Podbean or iTunes if you’re interested in hearing more about my gratitude practices. My new favorite gratitude practice is to write a list of 100 things I am thankful for as fast as I can. When I first started doing this I had a hard time coming up with 100 things off the top of my head but the more I do this exercise the easier things flow to me. When I feel like life is knocking me down I try to switch into gratitude. This practice has really helped me because gratitude is an emotion that has become really easy for me to call up. As I’m waking through this difficult time I have been making sure to call feelings of gratitude into my body multiple times per day. When my mindset starts to focus on negativity I will start listing all the things I am thankful for right now.
After I choose the new beliefs I want to start replacing my negative beliefs with I write affirmations to help me affirm them. I suggest writing a page of affirmations in your journal and then pick two or three that you feel really strongly about. Your affirmations should make you feel empowered and excited. It’s important that they are things you actually can get behind and believe in. Telling yourself over and over “I am beautiful and powerful” isn’t going to do you any good if you no part of you believes that is true. Check out this awesome article about creating and picking affirmations.
Here are some of the affirmations I have been using to help me pull myself out of this crappy time I’ve been walking through.
-I am an unstoppable force for good
-I never give up and I never quit
-Things always work out for my highest good
-I always come out on top
-Struggle only makes me stronger
I find a lot of comfort in these affirmations and they help me affirm my belief that ultimately hard times are for my good. If you’re struggling come up with your own list of affirmations that help you feel strong and motivated even though things suck right now. If you want a free affirmation printable drop your email in the form below.
Get Excited About The Future
When things really suck I like to get myself excited for the future. This helps me remember that this is just one season of my life and it will pass. I really l like to make vision boards when I’m feeling down. This helps me get clear about what I want the future to look like and to get excited about the blessings waiting for me in the future. Once you have your vision board start breaking down your goals and make a plan for how you can work towards it. I like to set 12-week goals and then use that to help guide my goals for each month. Every Sunday evening I make a plan for the upcoming week and schedule all my goal-related tasks into my planner.
If you’re unhappy remember that you aren’t stuck and you can change your whole life in a year or less if you need to. It’s easy to feel disempowered and like you don’t have choices when you’re unhappy but that’s not true. Even if you’re in a tough situation spend some time brainstorming and trying to see your situation differently. If you had to change your life what would you do? It can also be tough to figure out what you need to change in order to start feeling better. Imagine you are the happiest vibrant version of yourself. What does that person do every day? What are her habits? How is her routine setup? Can you start incorporating some of those things into your life now? For me, I know the happiest version of myself is in good shape and values her health and fitness. When I’m struggling I try and make sure that I workout every single day, because I know that is something I can do to start feeling better. If you need help and need some suggestions of things to help come post over in the Radical Transformation Facebook Group. The group has thousands of helpful women in it that are all working on changing their lives.
Honestly, some of my biggest dreams have come up when I was really struggling. I started this blog during one of the darkest times of my life but my own unhappiness drove me to start sharing my stories to try and help other people understand mental illness and feel less alone. Now I get to work for myself and make money online which is so amazing. None of that would have happened if I hadn’t used my difficult time to inspire serious changes in my life. Identify what about your life isn’t working and make a commitment to make serious changes. I like to use my unhappiness to build momentum to make big changes in my life.
I hope this guide on how to survive difficult times helps give you some ideas of things you can do if you’re walking through a hard time right now. I also suggest getting yourself some good self-help books, journaling it out and finding a good therapist. It can be hard to feel positive when you’re walking through a tough time but I really try to give myself lots of pep talks to focus on the good things that are happening in my life. When I start to dwell on how awful everything is I redirect my thoughts to thinking about what I am thankful for and what is going well. This helps keep me from letting a difficult time spiral into a depressive episode. It takes a lot of mental energy and focus on my part but this practice has really helped improve my life and I think it is so worth it. Be sure to check out my other posts on depression to help you get back on track.
I am not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional. If you need help finding a mental health care provider call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit BetterHelp to talk to a certified therapist online at an affordable price. This post contains affiliate links, you can read my full disclosure policy here.
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