5 Tips to Help You Cope & Find Peace in Difficult Times
Are you in a situation where you find it difficult to cope? Do you constantly encounter challenges that are beyond your control? Are you in a workplace where you are being bullied? Do you work in an environment where you are always on edge for fear of making a mistake? Are you in a relationship where things are always unstable?
Whatever your situation is I want you to know that you are not alone. Many of us go through similar experiences in life. After a while, we realize constant worrying and bickering back and forth does not do well for our emotional and even physical health. If the situation you find yourself in cannot be changed immediately, you need to find a way to find inner peace while all hell seems to be breaking loose around you. The following things are what I use to help me cope with difficult times.
Pray and Meditate
For most of my life, I have heard about prayer and meditation. While I took the time to pray, I never combined it with mediation until about a year ago. I was trying to create a more balanced life and wanted to pay more attention to my spiritual needs. Even after accomplishing my goals, I felt this inner emptiness, an emptiness which refused to go away. That is, until I found this beautiful You tube video which instructs us on how to have a relationship with god. Here is the link to the video.
This video changed the way I looked at my spiritual life forever. Meditation has become a daily habit of mine. Since I have begun this daily practice I have managed to maintain an inner calm and cope, regardless of what is happening outside of me. Prior to finding this video, I used some of the following tips I share with you.
If it is possible, try to create some space between you and the situation which is causing you distress. If it is a family member who is living with you, you can try taking a nature walk, going to the beach, or spending time with a friend. Depending on the situation, this strategy may be difficult to achieve. For example, if your source of stress is in the work place, there is no way of really creating sufficient space; especially if you work in an open space which requires interaction with others on a frequent basis.
If, however, your source of stress is on social media, you can create space by blocking, un-following, or unfriending the individual (s) whose actions are interfering with your inner peace. If those strategies do not work, deactivating your account may be another option. From time to time I deactivate my account just to focus on other things more important such as spending time with my family or my writing.
Reach Out to Someone Outside of the Situation
One of the things I have found helpful when dealing with a distressful situation is to talk with a trusted friend or relative. While it is not good to discuss every issue with another person, especially if it is relationship problem, there comes a time when the burden gets too much for one to cope without outside help. Find someone you trust and let them hear you out. Sometimes all we need is a shoulder to cry on, listening ear, and a rational mind to help us gain perspective.
Personally, I try keeping this strategy for more complex situations. There are somethings which we are capable of dealing with without involving others. Usually, we are able to tell when we need to reach out, the urge is often very difficult to ignore. If you are in a situation where another person is trying to convince you that you are crazy or seeing things. you definitely need to reach out in order to help you gain perspective. Situations like these require professional help. Whatever you do, please find someone you trust and unburden yourself so you can find get rid of the torment and find inner peace.
I know you must be wondering what staying focused has to do with finding inner peace. A few years ago, I was in a situation where I was working in an environment which felt hostile to me. I was studying full-time in an online program, taking care of my then 4 year old and, working full time. Each of these responsibilities had its own share amount of stress. The easiest thing for me to have done at that time was give up one of the responsibility. Although I dreaded going in to work most days, I could not give up my job, because it was my only source of income and I had all of my family obligations. I could not give up my daughter, so I did not even consider this as an option. I could have given up the online program I was doing. But, had I done so, I would have missed out on a great opportunity to gain the knowledge, experience and great people I met along the way.
Despite all the inner turmoil my situation created, I refused to succumb. Once I decided I was not giving up, I firmly stock to the task and stopped worrying about what I had no control over. After a while, I was so focused on what was important that I able to cope with most of the stress which I experienced at work.
Make a Plan of Exit
I cannot stress this enough… Anytime you find yourself in a situation that is continually stressful, and nothing seems to be improving, begin your plan to leave. Two examples of situations that require such a plan is a hostile work environment and a dead end relationship. If it is the former, save as much as you can; some financial experts say save at least six months of your pay in an emergency fund. If possible save more than six months. Take every opportunity to make upgrade your skills and knowledge and make yourself marketable just in case you need to find another job. Start your job search; this is especially critical if you have additional expenses such as tuition loans or a mortgage.
If it is a relationship which is going nowhere, your plan of exit may be different. If it is an abusive relationship, you may need to seek professional help to prevent the situation from escalating.
Whatever the situation, making a plan of to leave shows that you have not given up hope…that you have a future to look forward to; this creates a sense of peace…a feeling that everything will be alright.
In my own situations, I have used all of these strategies at one time or another. I found each strategy helpful depending on the situation I am facing. The key is to not let your problem overwhelm you to the point where stress leads you to physical or mental illness, or cause you to lose hope.
Please take the time to comment and share your stories or suggestions of what we can do to help us cope with stress and create inner peace.