Tough times are inevitable in everyone’s life. Whether we like it or not, we have to go through the experiences that life throws at us.
So, what can we do to get through the tough times?
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10 tips to get through hard times in life
1. accept that there is no guarantee in life
This is not to become pessimistic. But the sooner you accept this fact, you will learn to embrace difficulties in life.
Recently, I heard the following quote that is going to stick with me for life.
Relax…..nothing is under control.
How true is it, right?
Read it again and again because this quote has the power to eradicate so much of your anxiety about life.
But does this mean you should go through life thinking I have no control over anything so I can just sit on the couch and let things happen on their own?
As much as I believe in working hard, I also believe in letting go. I believe there should be a healthy balance. Once you do your part, you let life do the rest.
I recently had to go through some hard experiences (still learning to adapt), and my life experiences taught me a valuable lesson. I am a control freak who likes to plan everything and be anxious when they go wrong.
These experiences taught me how damaging it is for my mental health. So I decided to learn from them and learn to let go when it is necessary.
I think what most people including me are afraid of is, uncertainty. When the rug under our feet is suddenly pulled off, we panic because we fear uncertainty. We don’t know what’s coming and what path will life take us on.
In such times, what we need is trust. Trust in the unknown and the belief that it is all happening for our own greater good. We are human beings with tunnel vision therefore we can’t see or imagine what’s going to unfold. But unless we are criminals doing wrong things to others, good times will embrace us again. That’s how life flows.
And isn’t the fear of uncertainty that makes so many of us prevent from taking action even though we are not happy with our current life?
I remember a small prayer that I learned in school. It is very profound and meaningful.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and Wisdom to know the difference.
So what are certain things you have no control over?
Anything external like,
- Natural calamities
- Actions of other people
But there are certain things you can control even when you go through the hardest times. Those lie inside you. And no one else has control over it.
- Developing resilience
- Keeping faith
- Keeping yourself engaged
- Putting a brave face on
- Develop the will to face it no matter what
In short, what you can control is how you react to the tough times.
The way you respond to the misfortunes changes everything. You can either cheer yourself up or wallow in self-pity. The former will make your life a little bit easier.
2. Change is a constant
The only constant in life is change – Heraclitus
Life never remains the same. It keeps changing. Like seasons change, people come and go in our lives and our life circumstances change too.
The sooner we accept it and stop fighting change, we will be at peace.
Many times, the changes happen in our life because of the higher power (God, Universe, Mother Nature or whatever you like to call it) wants us to improve ourselves.
But still, we human beings resist change because we like to stay in our comfort zones.
Just imagine! If there were no changes in life, you would be living a stagnant life that is no fun.
Sure, we don’t like tough times because that makes us sad. But sometimes these experiences are required to make us stronger and change our perspectives.
When we go through difficult times, our perspectives change and we tend to value people and life more if we were taking them for granted before.
For many people, tough times become the foundation of a new beginning that ends up transforming their lives and they become more successful than ever.
And you never know, what opportunities will a difficult phase bring because for new things to come into your life, you have to make space for it.
If you keep resisting change and hold onto your old “comfortable” life, you don’t get new opportunities that have the potential to make you way happier.
So, view tough times as an opportunity to become a more flexible person because it helps you grow.
3. Live one day at a time
Do you know where all the unhappiness stems from?
When you think you are doomed and that you have to spend the rest of the weeks (months or years) in this condition.
When you think about how you will deal with the difficult times that will likely stretch for days, weeks or months ahead, you lose hope. You become sad and lose the will to get through the days.
We human beings like to think ahead. Although it’s good to have dreams, thinking about the days ahead don’t serve you well when you are right in the middle of a misfortune.
So do you know what I like to do?
I think only about today. Right now, I have only this day with me. To be specific, I have only this moment with me.
When you can figure out how you can spend each hour or a day at a time, you pass those days.
So, don’t think ahead. Think only for today.
You can create your own mantras to overcome bad times. My favorite ones are:
- This too shall pass
- I have the strength to go on today no matter what
- I will keep pushing as there is always light at the end of the tunnel
4. This will help in passing each day
In order to lift yourself up each day and keep yourself sane, make a list of activities and hobbies that you love. Keep yourself engaged by doing what you love.
I know it’s easier said than done because when you are feeling dull, it’s sometimes hard to feel interested in any activity that you loved before.
What you can do is, acknowledge your emotions and start with an activity that seems the easiest thing to do from your list.
Sometimes, if I don’t feel like even getting up from the bed, I try to listen to a podcast or watch an inspiring Youtube video or even read an inspiring book. These activities don’t require much energy but can help a lot in improving your mood. And often that helps me in getting the energy to get up and move on with my daily tasks.
Choose to do something that will keep you engaged for some time and help you forget your worries.
And I have often noticed the hardest part is to begin. Once you get started it’s easier to keep the momentum going on and thus change your mood.
5. “the one thing” that helps a ton when you are going through hardships
And “the one thing” is GRATITUDE!
On any given day, we are blessed with so many things that we sometimes overlook.
Keep a gratitude journal and write down about your blessings from the smallest to the biggest in it. If you look around, you can see people who don’t have even what you have.
It is hard to feel sad when you are in a grateful state. And gratitude helps you to push through hard times while uplifting your mood.
When I express gratitude, instead of just passively writing it, I try to feel the feelings of happiness. Sometimes, tears flow through my eyes thinking of how blessed I am. And those tears help to make a difference in my perspective towards life and the hardships I am facing.
So when you feel miserable, as always acknowledge your feelings saying “Ok, there is sadness in me” and ask yourself “How can I feel grateful at this moment? Is this experience trying to teach me something?”
Dig deep and you will find the answers.
6. Stop complaining about your problems
We like to talk about our problems because we think that helps in getting it out of your mind. Yes, one should do that but remember to talk to the right people about it rather than expressing your frustrations to everyone you see.
And also be careful about not always being in the complaining mode. Because that shifts your focus from gratitude and happiness to “lack”.
And when you focus your energy towards lack, that is all you get in return. The longer you focus on the things you lack or be immersed in self-pity the longer it takes for you to recover from the tough times. And you always stay angry, anxious and frustrated at your situation.
Remember, these further lower your energy levels and affects your ability to cope with the problem.
It helps to focus on what is going right in your life rather than what’s wrong.
7. Take the time to process your feelings
Finding strength in hard times doesn’t mean you can’t shed a tear or never talk about it.
Whatever feelings you have inside, bring them to the surface. Do not bottle them up inside because it can explode in different ways or even affect your mental health later.
First of all, understand that all your feelings are valid no matter what they are. If you feel anxious, angry, depressed, or frustrated all feelings are valid and they matter.
Cry all you want irrespective of your gender. Let it all come out, take the time to mourn what you lost and then make peace with it.
Healing takes time. But expressing your feelings gives you the chance to fully move on rather than be forever traumatized about it.
I have heard from people who have lost their loved ones how they would never go back being the old self. Such experiences change you and make you grow in new, unimaginable ways and move forward with the strength you never knew you had inside you.
8. You are never alone
The point of life is not to stay the same always but to push you through different experiences to help you become the person you ultimately are here to be.
And in between, we all mourn for our loved ones, lost pets, lost belongings or even an old life that we still want to go back to. It happens to everyone, to every single person living on the earth!
And even though our experiences may seem different, we all go through the same somehow. There are people who experience the same problems as you, no matter how unique your problem is. Or some may have it even worse.
We are all together in this game of life and that is somewhat reassuring.
9. In hard times, hold tight to what matters the most
Ultimately, in life what matters the most is the people you love. They are the ones who can help us get through tough times. I hope many can agree with me on this.
When you go through tough times, try to stay away from toxic people and surround yourself with the people who understand your situation.
10. Read inspiring stories about real people
As I said, people from since the beginning of time have endured through challenges and still came through on the other side.
Reading these stories will help you to push through the tough times.
Two books that I read in my own challenging times which have helped me tremendously are:
Even though this book was written decades ago, this book continues to help people to deal with worrying. This book helped me to view small problems as they are and to deal with the stress that accompanies hard times.
After reading such books, I started becoming more conscious about my worrying habit and learned to reframe my thoughts. I can now catch myself worrying in a matter of seconds and then use all the knowledge I have until now to redirect my thoughts to optimistic ones.
I find that the advice in this book is still valid even after so many years. Highly recommended!
I read this book in 2019 while going through a hard change in my life. I never wanted to experience this change and I am still going through it, but this book helped me a lot to change my perspective towards learning to deal with the resistance that many of us have, to the flow of life.
This is the autobiography of a man who decided to surrender his life’s decisions to the Universe. And he didn’t try to resist the changes that came to his life even though they were not always what he wanted.
He surrendered to the flow of life and in the end, everything came together beautifully as it always does.
If you are going through a change in life and if it’s painful for you and if you don’t know how to submit yourself to the highest good, I recommend this book.
For more ideas, here is a list of books you can read to get through hard times.
Here is a list of best entrepreneur biographies to learn about how successful entrepreneurs got through tough times in life.
More posts on life:
- 7 common things you do that waste your life
- 10 life lessons that will change your life in a year
- 27 ways to simplify your life this year and live stress-free
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