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How Not To Lose Hope In Tough Times

How Not To Lose Hope In Tough Times

Tough times happen to all of us. No matter how strong or powerful or confident we are, tough times will come: viciously forcing their might on us, causing us to crumble. As mighty as we can feel one day, we can feel just as lost and scared the next. I don’t say this to cause fear, I say it because it’s the truth. The hardest part of tough times is not to lose hope.

I’ve felt trapped under miles of rock, no light seeping through, and the rescue workers weren’t coming to save me. It’s a feeling mixed with loss, fear and deflated dreams.

The amazing thing about life – and I’m never going to understand how – is that as long as you’re breathing, you still have a chance. I don’t care whether you think it’s God, the Universe, or a couple of alien civilizations playing games with us, you always have a chance.

Understand Why You Are Experiencing Tough Times, But Be Grateful For What You Still Have

Telling you to be grateful is almost starting to sound cliché. Everybody says it, yet not a lot of people take the time to do it. It’s easy to get lost in cluttered thoughts filled with decrepit hope and feel sorry for ourselves, so I understand why we generally don’t make the effort to be grateful. But being grateful helps.

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It pulls you back into the present moment, allowing you to put your troubles on the back burner, even if it’s for just a short time. It doesn’t matter how you choose to be grateful. You can write out ten things right now you’re grateful for. You can sing to the heavens all the beautiful aspects of your life. You can take a big, giant breath, hold it for ten seconds, give it a powerful exhale and yell, “YA! I’M GRATEFUL FOR THIS BREATH.”

I don’t care, just be grateful, period. If you’re struggling to come up with anything, remember you are, in fact, still alive. That won’t last forever, so take extreme advantage of it.

Remember All The Previous Tough Times You’ve Battled Through And How You Got Out Of Them

You’ve been through your fair share of tough times, am I right? I thought so.

What I find interesting is that you’re still here. You made it through your past tough times even when they probably felt a lot similar to the tough time you’re experiencing right now. Why should this tough time be any different?

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Think back for a moment. What positively helped you through? Was it a book, friend, or a family member? Go back to what helped you through the last tough time. Was there something you did that helped? Revisit that.

Personally, James Taylor’s music has always helped me during my tough bouts. It calms me, puts me in a more hopeful mood. But I can get so lost in my struggles sometimes that I forget about Taylor’s music. It’s not until I’m proactive about my struggles that I tap into past sources of inspiration and guidance.

Be proactive and trust yourself, don’t let your tough times control your life.

Embrace Your Tough Times And Explore What Options Exist To Create An Even Better Life

During tough times you can’t give up, ever. Even during the toughest times you must keep your hopes alive by pushing through. Work on what needs to get done, try and build some momentum, and then build on it further.

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That last thing you should be doing is quitting, which I slightly hesitate to say because there are some very good reasons to quit sometimes.

If you’re passionate about what you want to do, then don’t quit.

If you’re losing your life because of it, well, you don’t have to quit, but take a break from it and get your life back together.

One of my little secrets with my writing is that I write out of fear. I’m scared to death every time I type up an article or write a book. Am I going to make enough money to support myself, my wife, and my dog? Is anybody going to even read this? Is what I’m writing worthwhile, or is it hogwash? The list of insecure questions goes on and on.

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The point I’m wanting to make is: Keep your head up, believe in yourself, and take life head on.

Your tough times won’t stand a chance.

More by this author

Daniel CJ Grant

Daniel is the author of "Notes from a Failure". He writes about failure and success.

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Last Updated on March 5, 2021

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

Science Says People Who Talk To Themselves Are Geniuses

I talk a lot to myself. It helps me to keep my concentration on the activity on hand, makes me focus more on my studies, and gives me some pretty brilliant ideas while chattering to myself; more importantly, I produce better works. For example, right now, as I am typing, I am constantly mumbling to myself. Do you talk to yourself? Don’t get embarrassed admitting it because science has discovered that those who talk to themselves are actually geniuses… and not crazy!

Research Background

Psychologist-researcher Gary Lupyan conducted an experiment where 20 volunteers were shown objects, in a supermarket, and were asked to remember them. Half of them were told to repeat the objects, for example, banana, and the other half remained silent. In the end, the result shown that self-directed speech aided people to find the objects faster, by 50 to 100 milliseconds, compared to the silent ones.

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“I’ll often mutter to myself when searching for something in the refrigerator or the supermarket shelves,” said Gary Lupyan.

This personal experience actually made him conduct this experiment. Lupyan, together with another psychologist, Daniel Swigley, came up with the outcomes that those to talk to oneself are geniuses. Here are the reasons:

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It stimulates your memory

When you are talking to yourself, your sensory mechanism gets activated. It gets easier on your memory since you can visualize the word, and you can act accordingly.[1]

It helps stay focused

When you are saying it loud, you stay focused on your task,[2] and it helps you recognise that stuff immediately. Of course, this only helps if you know what the object you are searching looks like. For example, a banana is yellow in colour, and you know how a banana looks like. So when you are saying it loud, your brain immediately pictures the image on your mind. But if you don’t know what banana looks like, then there is no effect of saying it loud.

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It helps you clarify your thoughts

Every one of us tends to have various types of thoughts. Most make sense, while the others don’t. Suppose you are furious at someone and you feel like killing that person. Now for this issue you won’t run to a therapist, will you? No, what you do is lock yourself in a room and mutter to yourself. You are letting go off the anger by talking to yourself, the pros and cons of killing that person, and eventually you calm down. This is a silly thought that you have and are unable to share it with any other person. Psychologist Linda Sapadin said,[3]

“It helps you clarify your thoughts, tend to what’s important and firm up any decisions you are contemplating.”

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

Reference

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