4 Ways To Boost Your Happiness During Difficult Times
Hard times come in many different forms, mostly by sudden surprise, such as a car accident, natural disaster, job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, losing a job, severe illness, or by continuous unstoppable hardship such as domestic violence and discrimination.
Far too many of us have endured severe trauma. This can take us months—if not years—to heal from. It’s physically, emotionally and mentally taxing. After a hardship, we want our sanity back. We want to feel our “normal selves” again.
When we feel overwhelmed and absorbed by the hardship, either financially, emotionally or however, we need to find something that can alleviate the pain. This is called coping. There are 4 different ways to do this.
If it’s a type of problem that can be solved, then this approach is to find a solution. It’s pretty straightforward. If you don’t know how to solve it, it’s good to consult with someone who does, a professional in the field, or take a class that will teach you more on the subject so you are more equipped to find the best possible solution. My only word of advice here is to make things as simple as possible.
This is when the problem is out of your control to solve or you’re simply not ready to find a solution because you’re so overwhelmed by negative emotions. Instead of solving it, you do what you can right now.
- Distract yourself
- Take a jog
- Share your troubles with someone you trust
- Find what good can come out of this
- Come to terms with it and accept it
3) The Silver Lining
Here’s a question for you I really want you to think about. Pick any recent hardship. Anything. An example is feeling undermined at work.
What is something valuable that you have gained by having this hardship? (for this example, it could be learning to stick up for yourself)
Take a moment to think about this. Train your brain to see the entire picture.
There is a tremendous amount of research on all the benefits of meditation, but I’m going to keep it simple and focus on how it benefits us specifically when going through hard times.
With regular meditation practice, meditators report feeling happier and less anxiety and depression. I’ll repeat that last part, because I’ve noticed it as a trend in several studies… less anxiety and depression. That’s something we definitely need to reduce since our stress hormones are elevated when faced with difficult situations.
This allows us to keep the most sanity as possible and it only works with regular practice, just as regular as brushing your teeth. At least I hope so.
If you’re interested to learn more and in the mood for a documentary, I recommend FREE THE MIND. It follows those that have suffered severe trauma and how the practice of meditation and breathing exercises impacted them. It’s extraordinary, here’s a sneak peek.
The point is there is hope! Be aware of it, hold on to it, and become it.
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