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10 Difficult Life Situations And How To Make The Best Out Of Them

10 Difficult Life Situations And How To Make The Best Out Of Them

“No matter what kind of challenges or difficulties or painful situations you go through in your life, we all have something deep within us that we can reach down and find the inner strength to get through them.”

– Alana Stewart

Ups and downs, rises and falls, rain and shine, joy and sorrow, day and night- this is how people define life: a series of events, sometimes jolly, sometimes painfully full of sorrow. Well, that is what life, as we know, is.

There come many situations in life which we can classify as difficult. A wise thing to do is to be prepared to face the difficult times in our lives. These times usually affect us deeply on a psychological level and could potentially damage our lives.

Being prepared for these times could help us to improve how we live our lives. Being prepared to face the challenges is what it means to learn and grow.

The idea is to make the best out of everything life throws at us. Remember, most of these situations are not under our control. So the logical method to deal with these circumstances is to accept and move on.

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Here below we discuss about some of the tough situations we come across in our lives and how we can best deal with them.

1. Quarter-life, midlife crisis

As we age, we see ourselves changing physically and mentally. So, there come times during our aging process that we seek answers about the changes happening to and around us. After adolescence, between our early 20s and early 30s, we begin to make choices on how to best fit into society.

This transition period could be difficult for some of us to handle which turns into the ‘quarter-life crisis’. The sheer amount of confusion and pressure often leads to situations like depression or potentially even acts of self-harm.

During the process of aging, there comes another phase called ‘midlife crisis’, in between the early 40s and early 50s when we begin to truly feel our mortality. These are times when we have to deal with lots of changes which we naturally, as humans, find difficult to deal with. Knowing that the changes are inevitable and finding the strength to accept the changes is the only way to find courage and get through these times of crisis.

2. Breakups

Love happens and breakups too. And it goes without saying, breakups are heart breaking. When all those feelings of love suddenly turns into something vile, it becomes painful to handle.

What’s there to be done after breakups? Accept that it happened for the best of reasons, keep your mind busy doing something productive and know that love happens again. The pain subsides like it always does. Turn the pain into motivation to bring a positive change in your life. (Join a gym, perhaps, and sweat it all out.)

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3. Changing friendship

Being social beings, we seek love and friendship. These are undoubtedly the most important aspects of having an overall healthy life. We simply cannot do without friends because we aren’t made to survive alone. We seek and keep friends to help us grow. So a changing friendship can be a difficult thing to deal with. Letting go of friends and adapting to new faces as you leave behind what you had come to love can be challenging.

But people come and go. This is yet another inevitable truth about life. We’ve all read those cheeky lines on the internet like “Those who want to stay in your life will find ways to do so” and they’re true. Don’t be afraid to accept and let go of people and welcome new people into your life.

4. Failures

Failures are difficult times, of course. They are difficult on many levels. Not meeting goals you’ve worked so hard for, the sense of worthlessness, all the negativity failures bring along- these are hard to put up with. But then again, we’ve heard and read many stories of success after failures, stories of what patience and perseverance can deliver. So we know the best thing to do during these times is to find inspiration and push through.

5. Divorce

Marriages takes a lot of effort to function well. We’ve witnessed many failed marriages leading up to divorce and heard the stories or even experienced how difficult the transition is for the whole family. Sadly, some of us might have to live through this terrible experience.

While splitting a family is as horrible as it sounds and probably no one really likes the idea of going to divorce lawyers, divorce is the best answer if a marriage is not working. It opens up doors for positive changes in life. Knowing this helps people keep the right attitude towards life after divorce.

6. Losing a job

Losing a job could be devastating, and you might even go hungry in the worst case scenario. And trust me, there’s no rougher time than when you have to spend days on a hungry stomach.

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So, what’s there to do after losing your job? You might feel hopeless at this point but don’t sweat over it anymore. Be strong and make efforts to find another, a better job. Keep calm and carry on.

7. Getting older

You might have heard the story of Buddha and how he set out onto the path of enlightenment; he saw the miseries in man’s life for which he wanted to find cure.  The point being: getting older can certainly be a difficult situation and there’s no cure to it. Gray hair, wrinkles, frail health, not being able to do things you once did with great ease, these are some of the things we adjust to as we age.

Well, it’s no secret that there’s no fountain of youth. We are all going to be old if we live long enough. So, the best thing to do is plan ahead for  old age if you don’t want it to be miserable. You see, that is why  wise people came up with things like pensions and retirement plans.

8. Getting injured, falling sick

Accidents happen and sickness might find us, no matter how many precautions we take. Though, this should not dissuade us from being cautious and trying to live healthily. Recovering from injuries is one of the hardest times one could experience and potentially learning to live with changes to your body and abilities can be a major adjustment physically and emotionally.

Again, keeping the right attitude towards life is the key to dealing with it. The seemingly long journey of recovery could be made less stressful by engaging in other  activities that the ailments don’t prevent. There is usually always something that you can find to do if you’re willing. For example, there have been people with cancer have written great novels from their hospital beds.

9. Losing all that you have in a natural disaster

Natural disasters are one of the worst things that could ever happen to anyone. During these disasters, people can potentially lose the people they are closest to as well as all their possessions, including their home: a truly traumatic life experience.

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But like always, we bounce back.

We are resilient enough to come back from the toughest of times and start over anew. The fact that we survived this calamity is reason enough to believe that we are given a second chance. All we can do in the wake of disasters like an earthquake, tsunami or hurricane is to help each other and find hope in this time of despair.

10. Death of a loved one

Death is the ultimate truth in life. It could come to anyone at any time. The sorrow it casts is always tough to handle. Losing  loved ones, having to live life without them is the most awful kind of change one could experience in life.

The grief and loss model has five stages of grief: denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance but it doesn’t necessarily occur in the same way for everyone. Some of us might take a very long time to reach the stage of acceptance.

Death demands grief so grieving is the right thing to do but the best thing we can do to honor the dead is to accept the fact and move on when we are able to do so. To commemorate the importance of this person’s passing we could also plant a tree, perhaps.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm6.staticflickr.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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