Earlier this week, I shared a little bit about some of the challenges I’ve been facing in my life. [ICYMI: July Recap + August Goals] Doesn’t it seem like a lot of the times, as soon as things finally start looking up for you, something awful happens that knocks you right off your pedestal? Maybe you notice that you have a hard time finding joy in anything, and your life is suddenly a landslide of negativity?
I used to go through life on this roller coaster of emotions. When things were going well, I felt great! But as soon as things got tough, I’d get very negative. Everything was awful and I wasn’t a very pleasant person to be around. I’d hide in my room and isolate from the people who wanted to help me. I didn’t believe in the whole “just be positive” thing because it felt like I was lying to myself. How could I tell myself that everything was going to be okay when it clearly was not okay? I was–and admittedly still can be–an “expect the worst but hope for the best” type of person.
Back in high school and early college, I thought that there was a sort of glamour that went with being chronically sad (shout-out to my fellow former emo kids!) Now I can’t possibly fathom why I would want to feel that way anymore. I realized that back then, sadness felt real. Negativity felt authentic. It was palpable. Whereas trying to be positive when I didn’t really believe it felt more uncomfortable to me than the familiarity of sadness.
Now when I have those same slumps, whether they last a day or a couple weeks, I fight to feel better. I’ve realized that being negative doesn’t serve me at all. Although negativity is easy, it doesn’t do anything to change the situation. Learning how to stay strong during tough times is not an easy task when your instinct is to wallow. Positivity is like a muscle. It requires exercise. So be sure to practice these six tips to help you stay strong during tough times.Positivity is like a muscle. It requires exercise. Click To Tweet
Six Ways to Stay STrong during Tough Times
1. Remember, this won’t last forever
Think about all the tough times you’ve been through in your life thus far. Somehow, you’ve survived them all, even when you weren’t sure you would. Even if this trial feels like it’s lasting forever, it isn’t, and it won’t. You are stronger than you think you are.When you have a hard time staying strong, look back. You are strong. Click To Tweet
2. Look for the Silver Lining
You know the phrase about “seeing the world through rose-colored glasses?” The opposite is true as well. If you look at the world through a dark lens, all you will see is darkness. I’m not asking you to look at the world like it’s all sunshine, but see if you can find the silver lining to the situation. When I was scared of being sick, I continued to remind myself of all the time I’d get to spend with my pets if I had to take time off work. When it’s raining, look for rainbows. When it’s dark, look for stars.
3. Practice Gratitude
When you’re thankful for what you already have, you have everything you need. So if things are not going your way, count your blessings and watch your attitude evolve.
[Related: The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude]
4. Take Control
When things seem hopeless and out of your control, remember that you do have control over one thing: yourself. You can choose to do practice self care. You can choose to talk to someone about what’s going on. Find one small thing you can do to improve the way you feel.
5. Give yourself Permission to Feel Better
Sometimes when things are going wrong, we feel like we are supposed to feel bad– like that will somehow fix things. We think that if we feel happy, strong, and confident that maybe that means we were overreacting, and somehow we end up feeling ashamed. It feels backwards and confusing. So give yourself some validation. It’s okay to feel sad, and it’s okay to feel strong. You can be both at the same time.You can be sad and strong at the same time. Click To Tweet
6. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Attitudes are contagious, so surround yourself with people who will build you up. You don’t even have to tell people what’s going on if you don’t want to. Some of my most transformative moments have happened just by being in the presence of people who look on the bright side.
How do you stay strong during tough times? What can you do to improve your attitude just a little bit today? Tell me about a time where you were stronger than you thought!