Unfortunately, for all of us, there is no way that you can go through life smoothly all the time. Everything from minor setbacks to complete disasters are bound to happen to us at some point. You may lose your job, a special relationship may suddenly come to an end or any number of unfortunate incidents may occur. Rather than spending your time worrying about when this day will come, you can start to think about how you will respond to make sure you deal with the situation to the best of your ability.
How you will respond will vary depending on exactly what type of situation in which you find yourself. But there are a few general pieces of advice that you can follow to overcome personal setbacks and disasters. So, here are a few ways to overcome some of the worst events that life has to throw at us.
Take a Step Back and Reflect
When a negative situation happens to you, your first reaction is likely to be a whirlwind of negative emotions including denial, disbelief, frustration, sadness and anger. Obviously, it takes a long time to process all these contrasting emotions, which is why it is so important that you take a step back and reflect on what has happened to you. There is no doubt that you can’t simply deny the existence of all these emotions, but you can also start to think about practical ways that you can deal with your problem. Many people find comfort in knowing that they are taking steps to get themselves back on track.
Find Someone to Talk to
Problems can quickly become overwhelming if you try to deal with everything all by yourself. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, and it certainly helps to talk through your issues with someone that you trust. If they have gone through the same issue that you are currently dealing with, they may be able to offer some helpful advice that will help you down the line. Having a close support network who can pick you up when times get tough can be absolutely invaluable. Make sure to differentiate between the people who will support you and those who will criticise you for your handling of the situation that you find yourself in.
Focus on What the Future Holds for You
When you get into a negative spiral, it can be very easy to get fixated on the past and all the things that could have gone differently. Accepting that there is nothing you can do to change what has already happened should be high up on your priority list. Yes, you can learn from your mistakes, but there is a difference between this and dwelling on what is out of your control. The only part of your life that you can control is the present, so try to focus on this, as well as making practical plans that ensure that you have a brighter future ahead of you.
Think About Solutions
Some problems don’t have obvious solutions, whereas there are others that you can start acting on today. For example, if you lose your job, you can start taking practical steps immediately by polishing up your resume, speaking to any contacts that you have built up over the years and putting in applications. If you have gotten involved in an accident, you can find out if you have a no win no fee compensation claim to get you back on track. Before you get started on your solutions, it is worth writing everything down that you can do in a list. The act of dealing with each one of these points one-by-one can help you to feel like you are starting to move in the right direction.
Try Not to Pile Too Much Pressure on Yourself
Whether or not the incident that occurred was your fault, it will do you no good to pile pressure on yourself and criticise yourself for every little mistake. Ultimately, you are own worst critic. Sometimes, it helps to take a step back and realise that no one thinks about your life quite as much as you do. Rather than being a depressing thought, it can be liberating to know that people tend to be wrapped up in their own problems and difficulties. All you can do is take practical steps to overcome your problem and try not to become totally consumed by negativity. Though it is often a difficult cycle to break, this type of thinking will only hold you back in the long-run.
Write Your Experiences Down
When a negative situations happens to you, you can end up with so many thoughts swirling around in your head that it is very difficult to know what to deal with first. And you can end up coming around to the same thought again and again until your head is spinning. The act of writing down your experiences can help to clarify everything in your head. By doing this, you can also keep track of how your feelings have changed over time. Many people use this technique just before going to bed, as this is the time that your mind can go into overdrive. A lack of sleep can serve to make a problem worse in your mind, so helping your mind to switch off for a few hours can feel like an enormous relief.
Find Ways to Take Your Mind Off the Problem
Following on from the earlier point, it will do you no good to become totally fixated on your problem for both your physical and mental wellbeing. Finding ways to take your mind off your worries can be challenging, but try taking time to indulge in activities that you enjoy. Many people find exercise and staying healthy to be a great way to relieve stress, so going out for a run or joining a new fitness class can help. Alternatively, you could practice some calming techniques like yoga, meditation or deep breathing exercises. Indulging in an immersive hobby that you enjoy is another good way to distract yourself. Allowing your mind to drift away from your problems for a little while can help you come back feeling refreshed and ready to deal with them in a more effective manner.
Remember That You Have Control Over Your Life
One of the greatest feelings of despair comes from the thought that you are unable to do anything whatsoever to overcome your problems. Remember that you remain in control of your life and that there are always things that you can do to make life better for yourself. Sometimes, life’s greatest achievements can come after some sort of personal disaster occurs. When you feel like you have hit rock bottom, the only place that you can go is up. Again, it all comes back to the practical steps that you can take to take command of the parts of your life that are under your control.
Learn From How You Have Reacted to the Situation
It may take weeks or months until you feel in a comfortable and confident enough situation to look back and analyse how you reacted to that particular personal setback or disaster. But learning more about yourself is something that you should always be striving to do. That way, you can think about how you will react differently in the future. Though you have overcome this particular personal setback, life has a frustrating way of continuing to throw these situations at you again and again. Like we talked about at the start, the best thing that you can do is react to these situations in the best way that you can.
Get Professional Support if You Need it
The most obvious form of professional support when you suffer through unfortunate situations comes through counsellors or therapists. As well as listening to your personal problems, they can also take you through practical steps that will help you deal with your particular situation. Simply the act of talking to someone who is not personally involved in your situation can make all the difference. There are also other forms of professional support that can help you out. For example, if your personal setback is financially based, it can help to get in contact with an accountant or financial advisor. As well as directly helping you with your situation, it can give you peace of mind to know that you are in safe hands and that you have passed over some of your burden over to somebody else.
Ultimately, how you react to a personal setback varies from person to person, and from situation to situation, but following these steps can help you to get back on track. Remember that you are not alone and everybody has to deal with the same type of personal disasters as you, regardless of how it may appear on the outside. Draw support from your network of friends and family, look for practical solutions to your problems and remember to find the time to give yourself a break.