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Published on August 5, 2020

7 Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro

7 Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro

Life is all about the continuous effort required for overcoming challenges. Every day brings forth new hurdles, and you always have to be on guard to dodge these hurdles if you wish to live a relatively smooth, successful life.

The consistent motivation required for overcoming difficulties in life can be easily lost, even by the most successful people. It can be difficult to dig deep and find the courage to face challenges, but once you do, that strength never leaves.

If you feel like giving up, you’ve come to the right place. The 7 tips you’ll find today will give you the right boost of energy to continue your push against your daily struggles!

1. Shift Your Perspective

Every challenging situation, right off the bat, affects your perspective first.

Let’s say, this morning you woke up to an email from your boss that said that you have to work through the weekend. You had planned to meet your friends after months this weekend. Of course, you’ll instantly start to feel angry and sad.

Next, you open the fridge to make some eggs for breakfast, but the eggs have gone bad. You’re also out of cereal. Later on in the day, you have to go out grocery shopping, but your favorite, most comfortable jeans are dirty. Although this inconvenience is minor, it could possibly be the last straw.

Apparently, your entire day has gone in the wrong direction. However, the real issue is not that minor challenges got to you back-to-back. Instead, it’s your perspective.

From the moment you read the email, you put a negative twist on everything. Since then, everything was perceived as a bigger problem than it actually was. You already knew that you were out of cereal. You also probably knew that the eggs would go bad by this day.

Despite that, your negative mindset made your overreact.

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Make it a habit to never let negativity take over. No, you shouldn’t force yourself to be positive but at least try to focus your negative energy on the real challenge. Ignore the minor inconveniences like you would on a good day.

If you let your energy go to waste on such small matters, you’ll be drained of energy before you even begin to figure out how to overcome your challenges.

2. Learn From Someone Who Has Been There

If it gives you comfort, then you should know that you’re not the only one going through this issue. Someone out there is going through similar circumstances, and possibly even worse.

Similarly, there’s someone out there who has been through the same challenge but was able to get out of it unharmed.

There are millions of people in similar circumstances. You may know at least one such individual who has gone through a similar issue. It could be a celebrity, someone from your neighborhood, a member from your extended family, or anyone from anywhere.

This person’s experience is a source of motivation, as well as a guide, to get through your challenge. Overcoming challenges can be as easy as observing the people around you in the long term.

If you can’t think of anyone who has tackled the problem already, it’s alright. You’ll know of someone who, if ever faced with a similar situation, could walk through it without an issue. Maybe that’s because this person has enough money to buy their solution, or they have the physical and mental ability to find a way out.

Whatever the case, try to follow the same footsteps. Come up with alternatives to suit your circumstances. As long as you have an example to see, you’ll have the strong will to continue in the same direction. A real-life example is the best motivation to continue the fight against your life’s hurdles.

Similarly bring to mind a challenge you have overcome already. Once you realize you’ve done it once, you’ll have the inspiration to do it again.

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3. Don’t Shy Away From Help

You came into this world alone, and you’ll leave alone. Yet, every human depends on others for their survival between these two points of existence. Even the strongest economies in the world are interdependent. It’s only natural to expect an emotionally or physically strained person like you to seek help as well.

If you aren’t capable of pulling yourself out of the tough situation, go ahead and seek out support or help. A third party will likely be able to offer a perspective you hadn’t seen.

Having someone to support you through your tough time is great. The best scenario is if they have the expertise to get you over the hurdle. Even if that’s not the case, the emotional support is more than enough to keep you going in tough times.

They may also be able to present examples of challenges you have overcome to motivate you to overcome whatever you’re facing now.

4. Figure out a Solution

There’s a solution to almost every problem you’ll face as you seek success in life.

No matter how big of a mountain you think has come in front of you, it won’t kill you. You can reach its top with the small steps you take every day.

If you’re thinking of ways of overcoming challenges, you’re already on the right track. Only with a mind that wants to overcome an issue can you actually do it. So, start thinking of all possible and impossible solutions to your problem.

For example, if you’re currently going through a financial problem, some solutions include shifting to a better-paid job, working more than one job, taking out a loan, winning the lottery, robbing a bank, and the list goes on. By simply acknowledging that there are so many solutions to your problem, half your worries will be eradicated.

The next step is, of course, to work on a realistic solution. Once you’re figured out the most feasible route for yourself, you need to start taking baby steps towards it.

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Let’s say you decided to change your job. You’ll start by looking out for career choices that pay well and are also relevant to your skills and experience. Next, you’ll apply to places that have open vacancies, and so on.

With a focused goal, you won’t lose your sense of direction amid all the hindrances.

5. Compartmentalize

Do you know what pulls people down during a tough time? It’s not that one challenge, but the fact that this one challenge overshadows everything and makes it difficult to overcome life challenges along the way.

An issue in your career reflects on your behavior with your partner, keeps you from hanging out with your friends, strains your motivation to stay fit, and basically harms every other aspect of your life. All of this is because that one challenge is all that’s on your mind. You’re unable to distract your brain to think of other things.

This behavior is harmful not just to you, but also to those around you. Keep the challenges of your life restricted. If they take over, you won’t be able to overcome them. To solve one problem, you need to continue to live normally in other parts so that you don’t lose your strength.

How do you overcome challenges?

Learn to compartmentalize so that your brain is trained to keep the good things away from the negative[1]. With an organized mind, you can conquer any challenge that comes to you.

6. Focus on the Bigger Picture

There are many quotes about overcoming challenges, but one that rings particularly true is this:

One closed door opens another.

One hurdle may seem like a full stop, but it may be exactly what you need to reach a final goal.

Imagine the prettiest landscape; a land full of peace, serenity, natural beauty, a starry sky, and everything nice that you can think of. If you know that the final destination is worth it, you won’t mind the narrow path that you’ll have to walk on to get to it.

Similarly, if you can shift your focus to the bigger picture, the minor challenges won’t seem to be an issue. Instead, you’ll make the most of them by learning from every challenging second. Going through a hard time can bring you many benefits if you have the right point of view[2].

7. Help Others

In the end, despite your challenges, be ready to offer help to others.

You will be contributing to the cycle of help while also learning a great deal from their way of tackling a life issue. Moreover, offering a helping hand ensures you’ve got someone you can rely on during your tough times, too.

The Takeaway

Overcoming challenges in life requires a balanced way of tackling the problem without letting it affect healthy parts of your life. It not only requires physical effort, but also mental strength.

The 7 tips you learned today are a good balance between both. They keep you mentally strong so that you can give your maximum physically. Altogether, you can put up a strong fight against the hardest challenges. No obstacle can stop you from living your life to the fullest.

All you’ve got to do now is stay determined and push yourself by implementing these tips in your life. Then, notice yourself looking forward to new challenges instead of dreading them!

More Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Chng via unsplash.com

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Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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