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9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

9 Tips to Recover From an Emotionally Challenging Situation

Part of the human condition involves dealing with emotionally challenging moments, but some of them are much more difficult to recover from than others.

For example, although everyone’s experience will vary, it can take years to fully recover from the death of a close loved one. We all have our own coping mechanisms for situations ranging from a death to a breakup. However, here are some tips that are universally helpful.

1. Keep a Journal of Your Feelings

Your feelings aren’t going to go away because you opt not to deal with them. Instead, they will pop up in unexpected ways and may take much longer to deal with if you don’t face them head on.

One of the best ways to do this is to write in a journal on a regular basis. Make sure that your journal is completely private so that you can freely write all of your thoughts and feelings, no matter how bad they might seem. Doing this will enable you to purge your feelings, which makes it easier to move past them.

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2. Seek Out a Like-Minded Community

Talking to people who are like-minded can offer you a safe sounding board for your feelings and fears. If you are afraid to openly express your current feelings to someone you know, you can utilize an anonymous app or online services such as Paralign or Samaritans.

Both of these services are free, and they stress the importance of getting your feelings out via writing. Paralign will even connect you anonymously with other people who are dealing with similar issues so that you can receive the support you need from like-minded individuals. Samaritans offer anonymous email support for people who are dealing with suicidal feelings.

3. Create Space for Yourself

Sometimes, an emotionally challenging situation requires people to give a lot of themselves to others. During this time, they may be unable to deal with their feelings because they are too busy helping others.

If this has happened to you, it’s important to make some space for yourself so that you can begin the recovery process. Making space could mean anything from taking 15 minutes out of every day just for you all the way to going on a solo retreat in a cabin or hotel room for a couple of days.

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4. Consider Counseling

A staggering 16 million American adults suffer from at least one major depressive episode per year. This is often caused by situational depression, which is something that you may be able to successfully deal with more quickly by enlisting the help of a trainer counselor.

A professional will listen to you without passing judgment or telling you what to do. Instead, they will provide a safe space for you to vent and show you how to deal more effectively with your emotions. Counseling doesn’t have to last forever in order to work. In fact, most people attend an average of eight or fewer sessions per year.

5. Meditate Daily

Often, the easiest way to gain some perspective on our issues is to take a break from them. The entire goal of meditation is to be mindful and avoid dwelling on your problems or emotions.

If you can work yourself up to truly meditating for 5 to 15 minutes per day, you will benefit by taking a break from whatever is challenging you emotionally.

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6. Put Down the Snack Food

It is normal to be attracted to comfort food and snacks when you’re feeling upset or depressed. Studies have found that comfort food offers a strong positive association for most people, so it’s okay to indulge for a day or two.

After that, though, you’ll only do yourself more harm if you persist in eating junk food. Adding more vegetables and fruit into your diet will actually make your body feel better, which in turn can have a positive impact on your mental health.

7. Start Exercising

When your stress levels are through the roof, it can feel impossible to fit in some exercise. Unfortunately, this is exactly when you need it the most. If you can make time for even a 20 minute walk each day, you’ll lower your cortisol levels.

Most people also experience a boost in their ability to talk about their issues during physical activity. This should make it easier for you to get your feelings out, which is a critical step in your recovery. You may even want to consider taking a walk before therapy or journaling.

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8. Be Honest with Those Who Have Hurt You

Is your current situation linked to emotional pain that was caused by someone else? It may be necessary to express this pain to them in order to truly move forward. The important thing to remember is that you always have the right to say how you feel, but you don’t have the right to expect a specific response.

In other words, after you’ve said your peace, the other person might not apologize or admit to any wrongdoing. Getting your feelings out will still help you as long as you don’t place expectations on the other person. Also, remember to stick with saying how you feel instead of making personal attacks.

9. Finds Things to Be Grateful For

Science has proven that expressing gratitude can improve your mental and physical health. Therefore, even if you currently feel like the world is a dark cesspool, it’s vital to look for anything that you can feel grateful about. Make a gratitude board or journal and challenge yourself to express gratitude for at least one thing per day.

This doesn’t have to be overly complicated. It could be something as simple as “I’m grateful for pizza.” The point is to look at things in your life that are positive in order to help you move past the negative stuff.

Ultimately, only you can ensure that you do fully recover from an emotionally challenging situation. If you choose to continuously dwell on what happened instead of taking positive steps, you may continue to feel emotional pain for many years. Instead, start taking helpful action right now, including adding the 10 mood lifting superfoods to your diet.

Featured photo credit: Michelle Tribe via flic.kr

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Holly Chavez

Writer, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

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Last Updated on August 10, 2020

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

“Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

7. Goals Make You Feel Good

Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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