This is not an article about various ways to make lemonade. It’s about finding the positive even when life is not going your way—in other words, when it’s throwing you lemons. The expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is used to encourage us when we’re facing a problem in our lives. When you face problems in a way you can feel proud of, you’re making life a little sweeter. Lemons suggest bitterness (a problem or adversity you are facing), while lemonade is sweet and pleasant. Staying positive and figuring out how to solve problems is much more advantageous than allowing yourself to go sour.
1. Be grateful
Even if your life is completely falling apart, there are still things you can be grateful for. It may be tough at the beginning but as you consider the good things going on in your life, you’ll realize there are plenty of small things to be grateful for. If this practice lifts your mood, that shift may also help you realize you’re in control of your life.
2. Stay Calm
It’s important not to stress out too much, despite the issues happening in your life. Learning to take a deep breath when life gets too much can allow you a moment of much-needed relaxation. Find a spot where you feel safe to reflect on what’s happening and how you are going to deal with it.
3. Reactive positively
Moving through the problems with a sense of grace is what you can control. There are outside forces, of course, but it’s up to you how you’re going to cope with them. Don’t get angry or completely freak out. Instead smile and say to yourself “this too shall pass.” Reacting negatively, especially towards others, is going to make you feel even more terrible.
4. Learn to accept things
By pushing away the problem, you only make it stronger. Instead, accept things as they are. When something comes up in your mind about the situation, say “yes” to all the feelings that arise in you. For example, if you’re heart is aching, feel it. You actually make the feelings you have less painful or stressful if you admit that they exist. If you suffered a loss, it’s essential you acknowledge it so the healing can truly begin.
5. Go outside
This may seem like a simplistic solution but looking at the vastness of the sky or listening to the sound of birds may make you realize there is something greater than what’s happening within you. Taking a walk in nature isn’t going to solve your problems, per se, but it could make you feel better afterwards. This in turn helps you face problems with a more positive outlook.
Even if you don’t have a care in the world, I suggest daily meditation because it keeps you grounded. When a major problem in your life does occur, you will have honed the strategy of non-reaction to what’s going on around you. You can stay with the issue and allow the storm to pass over you without panicking. Meditation is like already having your sugar-water ready, just in case a bunch of lemons are thrown your way.
7. Be the warrior
Face your problems like that of a warrior, instead of running from them. Having the strength to deal with whatever is happening in your life brings more confidence. It’s times like these where you can test your true strength and grow, if you take the opportunity to do so with open arms and a warrior mind. Know that the problems will eventually cease, probably a lot more quickly if you manage them. Running away may cause the problem to resurface from time to time.
Featured photo credit: retro girl making funny face holding a lemon via shutterstock.com