Wouldn’t we all like to be able to recover from hard times and put every setback behind us right away?

Taking difficult circumstances in stride is really down to having the ability to bounce back from negative thoughts, emotions, and experiences.

I’m not saying it’s a mistake to have negative thoughts… to feel emotions like anger and bitterness… or to experience suffering.

Let’s face it – that’s just part of living life! (And much better than the alternative.)

Sometimes wallowing on our dire straits is therapeutic, too. There have been times I’ve just needed to find a quiet place and have a good cry.

But when the tears dry up and it’s time to get back to the real world, there are steps we all must take to come out of the pits.

The goal is to be aware of these experiences and emotions and then respond by shifting our focus in order to process them and get to the other side of the ordeal.

First, it’s important to acknowledge it is possible! It’s very likely you know someone who has gone through a terrible situation but has found a way to feel joyful once again. Set that person in your mind as an example… it is something you can achieve, too, with a bit of practice.

There is hope! Psychologists say that resilience, or the ability to recover from adversity,  can be learned. The good news is it’s not something we either have or don’t have.

If you are going through a tough time right now, there are some actions you can take to exercise that muscle and recover.

In fact, these ideas are a good idea to keep in mind for the next time you are struggling and need help getting out of the pits.

Look To The Future.

The situation and emotions you are feeling are not permanent.

Ask yourself, will this matter in 5 years? Or 10 years from today? Keep in mind “This, too, shall pass.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT) reminds us:

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

It may be a challenge in the moment of more serious setbacks, so practice reminding yourself when simple annoyances come your way. Things will be better than they are at this moment.

Laughter is Good Medicine!

According to the Mayo Clinic, whether you’re guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. Laughter is a great form of stress relief, and that’s no joke.

The good news is a sense of humor can be learned – even refined and developed more! Put humor at the forefront of your day so you can practice laughter. One I enjoy is Mikey’s Funnies. It’s a great resource for clean, often laugh-out-loud daily posts to tickle your funny bone.

Ask For Help.

People who bounce back from challenges quickly value input from their community, their family, their friends. Not only do they rely on their circle of people for decision-making and problem-solving, but they can also count on them to offer comfort and support.

Clinical Psychologist Anne Wilson Schaef said:

“Asking for help does not mean that we are weak or incompetent. It usually indicates an advanced level of honesty and intelligence.”

I’ll be honest, asking for help is not one of my best qualities. In fact, I’d rather hide under a rock when I’m facing difficulties. But I’ve found that asking for help in the small things is helping me exercise that ability for when the big things come my way.

Choose To Be An Optimist.

Optimism can be the single most important factor in recovering from suffering. When you learn to expect things to get better, the weight will begin to lift from your shoulders.

While it’s often much easier to complain, we can choose creativity and transform our circumstances.

When you’re in a negative situation, ask yourself questions that will help you to shift your focus from the negative. Some examples of what I ask myself include:

  • What is one thing I can learn from what’s happening in my life?
  • What is an opportunity I can take advantage of from this situation?
  • Are there one or two aspects of these circumstances that I can view as positive or good in some way?

You may not be able to ask yourself these questions in the worst of times. But after a time, and in less stressful conditions, practice asking them to train your brain toward optimism.

A strategy of creating habits out of these 4 practices won’t make your problems go away. That’s just part of life! But if you make them a part of your daily routine, it may help you get through tough times with less stress and in record time.

Recently I was asked: “What are you all about?”

If you were wondering, too, my work is about helping people live joyfully!

  • By choosing a healthy lifestyle,
  • Living in gratitude,
  • Keeping a healthy mindset, and
  • Always learning new things.

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