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How You Can Be Calm Even When Things Get Rough

How You Can Be Calm Even When Things Get Rough

When life gets rough, sometimes it’s hard not to fall apart and sink deep into an abyss of negative emotions. Have you ever wondered how some people can be so calm during the most turbulent times while others can’t? Would you like to adopt some coping strategies that keep you calm during the bad phases of your life? Here are 9 things you can do to get through tough times with a level head.

1. Cry if you need to—for a while.

Some people are more emotional than others. But repressing your emotions doesn’t always help. If you do repress them, it’s like holding a beach ball under the water. You can do it for a while, but it will eventually come back to the surface—and sometimes in an explosive manner. So have a good cry once in a while. Let the emotions out in order to help yourself think more clearly afterwards.

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2. Then stop the crying and put your logical side into the driver’s seat.

Once you let your emotions out, make a decision to put your emotional side in the passenger’s seat and let your logical side drive. Logic will help you stay calm and focused during chaos. If you let your emotions out with a good cry or two, you can shift mental gears and do the next step: solve the problem.

3. Be solution-oriented.

Dwelling on the negatives won’t change anything. Let’s say you just lost your job. Maybe it was shock. So you’ve had your cry and/or the time of freaking out, and then you made the decision to put your logical hat on. Now look at the possibilities. Start applying for jobs. Think about a career change or starting your own business. Look at the actions you can take to make your situation better. Then do something.

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4. Remove yourself from the situation if you can.

Maybe you didn’t lose your job—but you hate your job. Or your boss. Or your co-workers. Maybe you’re in an abusive or loveless relationship. If there is any possible way for you to remove yourself from a negative situation, then do it. Staying and dwelling on the negatives won’t make you happier or calmer. Sometimes you just need to get out so you can have a better life.

5. Keep things in perspective.

Sometimes what we think is a tragedy isn’t really a tragedy. It may just feel like one. As I look back on my life, some of the things that I thought were the end of the world were really just stepping stones. I like to ask myself the question, “At the end of my life, am I going to look back at this problem and feel that it was significant? Or will I just laugh at how upset I was over it?” If you can give your problems a new perspective like that, it will help you stay calm. Sure, some problems really are huge. But many of them are not—we just think they are.

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6. Remember that it won’t last forever.

One of my favorite quotes is: “The only thing constant is change.”  While that’s an ironic statement, it’s actually very true. No one stays in once place. It might feel like you’re staying in the same place, but time marches on. If you take action to make a better life for yourself, then you are claiming your power and taking that first step toward being happier.

7. Ask for help.

Unfortunately, a lot of people think that asking for help is a sign of weakness. It’s not! Where has it ever been written that everyone needs to go through their problems alone? Nowhere! Having other people support you—either emotionally or by actually doing something to help—will make you feel like you have less of a burden on your shoulders. Less burden equals more calm, collected, and lighter feelings.

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8. Realize that it could be worse.

Another thing that helps me keep calm during tough times is that I always remember that there are a lot worse things that could be happening. Maybe you did lose your job, but at least you have your health and perhaps family members to help you get back on your feet. Somewhere in the world, someone has it a lot worse than you do right at this moment. I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but many times, it’s true.

9. Believe that things will get better.

Hope. Hope is everything. If you don’t believe that things will change, then they won’t. I always love to quote Henry Ford when he said, “Whether you think you can—or you think you can’t—either way, you are right.” If you think things will get better, then they eventually will. If you think they won’t, then they won’t. Your beliefs shape your experience.
Staying calm when life gets rough takes practice, but it can be done. If you practice these steps on a regular basis, eventually it will become second nature to you.
 

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Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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