I have a close friend who has been riddled in tough times recently. In friendships, in her career, in her family, even in her love life, she can’t escape the dark cloud following her.
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As her friend, I’ve supported her in the best ways that I can. We talked about her problems, and I saw so much of myself at different times of my life.
I’ve been disappointed by my career, had my heart broken and lost friends I thought I’d grow old with. Here are a few things I learned along the way.
1. Do Not Discredit Your Journey Thus Far
While you’ve fallen on some hard times, there is still so much progress you have made in your life as a whole. Take the time to recognize your achievements. Your life is full of accomplishments, big and small. Reflect on them and realize that your current situation is just another leg of your journey, albeit a difficult one.
2. Confront Your Situation So That You Can Learn From It
If you aren’t real with yourself about your circumstances, you’re keeping yourself from learning from your mistakes. It may be painful, and you have to allow yourself to feel that pain. Ask yourself some hard questions. Only then can you go back and retrace your steps, considering what you may have done differently and what you intend to do if you ever find yourself in the situation again.
3. Put Positivity Back In Your Life
It may seem like a cliche, but positivity is infectious. You can welcome better days into your life by trying to find the bright side of every situation. Immerse yourself in stories of people who have overcome adversity. Talk about positive things with family and friends.
Treat your body well by exercising and eating right. If everything in your life is focused in a positive direction, forces beyond your control will pull the negative areas of your life back into the light.
4.Let Yourself Process Your Emotions
Avoiding your emotions will only prolong hard times. If you need to scream, scream. If you want to start kickboxing to release anger, get your gloves on. You have to discover the best way to free yourself of the feelings that are overwhelming you and channel them into something different, something better for you.
5. Make The Changes You Need To Make
You’ve likely been going through a great period of introspection during this tough time. You’ve learned from your experience. If you don’t do anything with the lesson, you’re not preventing future mishaps. Don’t make excuses, don’t argue with yourself: make your changes. Control the elements you can, and there will be less variables that can send you spiraling.
6. Help Others
Sometimes, what you need to get out of a negative time is realizing how much worse off other people have it. What’s even better is helping a cause that’s close to your heart, so you can see first hand how you can be in control of change. Volunteer, fundraise, dedicate some time to something that will make you feel like a better person to your core.
7. Forgive And Let Go
Whatever or whomever the cause for your hard time is, it is time to forgive. Bottling up anger and resentment is only keeping more negativity within you. You don’t have to forgive the person verbally, or in writing. As long as you can feel the forgiveness within yourself, that is what matters. Forgiving is for yourself, not the other person.
8. Ask For Help Where You Might Need It
It’s hard for the people in your life to step forward and help you in a difficult time. They may feel that they sound condescending. They may feel awkward. They may not know how to help. If you feel you need help, ask for it. The worst that anyone can say is no, at which point you’ll know they aren’t the resource to turn to for whatever the particular need you have is, and you’ll recognize who might be a better fit to assist you.
9. Remember Your Value
Your value as a person is connected to the hard times you’ve suffered in that hard times make you stronger as a person, but that is where the connection ends. You are not your mistakes, or the mistakes of another that have caused your life to take an unexpected turn. You are joy. You are tears. You are, above all, strength. You have persevered and you will continue to. Do not let anyone tell you that what you are going through defines you in any way.
10. Don’t Say No To Good Times When They Come
The fact is, things will get better if you allow them to. If you shut out all possibilities of happiness, you will find the dark cloud will never lift. Open yourself up to happiness and allow yourself to flourish.
You may wonder where I’ve gained the insight I explained to my friend. What makes me think that I know how to move on from a hard time better than the next person? The truth is that like anyone else, I’ve fell on hard times before. I’ve fallen more times than I’m proud to admit, more times than most. I don’t doubt that despite being armed with this knowledge, I will fall again. I have learned what I have lived and I intend to keep doing so, helping other people anyway I can along the way.