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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 relationship and dating website that gives advice from both a male and female perspective. She's also a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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