(GoHealthier.com) – To borrow from Charles Dickens, sometimes we live in the best of times, and other moments seem like the worst of times. Life remains fluid with moments of extreme joy, coupled with moments that test our endurance and emotional resilience.
Less than perfect times may be unavoidable. But, thanks to a few experts, we can try some simple tricks to stay happier and more hopeful when the going gets tough.
Remember, when the going gets tough, the tough get creative! Here are four ways to come out on top in challenging times.
Seemingly like a rollercoaster at times, our lives remain a series of highs and lows. It’s important to remember we define our lives through its contrasts. Day has little meaning without night. Sorrow may be relieved by joy. When the going gets tough, as it does from time to time, scheduling downtime, setting aside worry, taking a timeout from problem-solving and practicing optimism may help us get through with serenity and hope. Read on to find out how to cope emotionally during the toughest times of your life.
4 Ways To Maintain Emotional Resilience In Tough Times
1. Schedule Downtime
Regularly setting time aside is a great way to maintain emotional resilience in the best of times or when times get tough. Think of something you enjoy doing, and go for it. It can be something frivolous like eating some ice cream or simply enjoying a bubble bath with a good book.
It can also be something constructive, such as taking a walk or exercising. Endorphins, a byproduct of regular exercise, naturally help us deal with stress and improve mood, making it nearly impossible for an unhealthy, overly stressed mind to dwell in a healthy, active body.
Taking some time for ourselves helps us recharge our batteries, and it provides time for our brains to refresh from the stress that often accompanies difficult times.
2. Set Worries Aside
It’s crucial to ditch negative thoughts, get rid of “stinkin’ thinkin,” as some like to call it. Hard times can lead to emotional stress that can carry over from one day to the next. Clearing our minds daily, particularly when we live through challenging periods, is as important as showering our bodies after working out.
One mindful practice involves identifying stray thoughts that bring us emotional discomfort, stopping and reflecting on how to trade out our negative thoughts for positive ones. Picking up a book of daily affirmations might do the trick for many of us. GoodReads has a great list of them.
To help us literally set worries aside, a set of Guatemalan worry dolls might be just what the doctor ordered. Known as Muñeca quitapena in Spanish, these tiny hand-made dolls often are made of little shards of wood wrapped in brightly colored threads.
By assigning our worries to them, typically one concern per doll, we can place them under our pillows when we go to sleep (or, in their case, if they come with one). When we wake in the morning, legend says the dolls will give us the knowledge and inspiration to conquer our problems. Often, when we set issues aside and come back to them relaxed, we might find solutions we hadn’t seen before with a fresh perspective.
3. Take a Timeout
Believe it or not, sometimes the best thing to do when trouble comes our way is absolutely nothing. Try it sometimes. It’s amazing how many problems will work themselves out if we give them a little bit of time.
Additionally, doing nothing — or taking a “timeout” — provides us an opportunity to clear our heads, so there’s room for a solution to hop on board! Sometimes it’s helpful to grab a cup of coffee or a bagel, sit down and unwind. It may be hard to plan an escape from trying times if emotional batteries are running low.
4. Practice Optimism
It might sound cliché, but one of the best ways to get through tough times is to look on the bright side of life. Never underestimate the power of belief. There’s a whole science to it called psychosomatics.
For the longest time, medical science viewed it in terms of disease — thinking that people could psyche themselves into being sick. Nowadays, there’s a new school of thought that believes in the healing power of happy thoughts or psychosomatic medicine.
Likewise, many people have found numerous benefits from the power of gratitude and the power of laughter. It may not always heal us or restore emotional balance, but a good belly laugh is always welcome, at least at my house!
Stress and adversity may erode our pleasure and joy in life unless we take steps to cope, but there’s a broad array of things we might do to build up or restore our emotional well-being successfully. However, if you feel you’re in crisis, you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out for help. Free, confidential support is available 24 hours per day/ 7 days per week via phone, computer or text through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
~Here’s to a Healthier Life!
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