Facing adversity is a part of everyday life. At times, life can feel like a complicated maze as it only provides difficult choices that leave you confused, overwhelmed, and hopeless. Deal with this problem as soon as possible by trying to find a way to free yourself from these negative emotions. Learn to control your emotions to deal with inner conflict and distress. Accepting the fact that everyone can go through difficulties makes you feel stronger, more empowered, and better prepared to take on challenges.
Part 1 of 4: Calming Yourself in Difficult Times
Step 1. Do breathing exercises
The first step to staying calm in difficult times is to relax your mind and body. This will help you think clearly, stay rational, and be able to do your best to overcome the challenges you're facing. Breathing deeply and regularly is the best way to help yourself. In addition to relaxing muscles, the oxygen you breathe makes the brain get enough oxygen. By focusing on your breath, thoughts and emotions you get a chance to rest.
- You can take deep breaths anywhere, at work, at home, in the car, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, or whenever you feel tense.
- If possible, inhale deeply until your stomach expands with air and then exhale slowly.
Step 2. Use warm water in the shower
Warm water can relieve muscle tension that builds up during stress. Pay attention to the condition of your body to make sure all the joints, muscles, and bones throughout your body are free of tension.
Step 3. Do some light stretching
Release the tension in your body by moving your arms and legs and doing light stretches. Do not overstretch or force yourself to do exercises that cause pain or discomfort. The exercise should relax your body and calm your mind, not increase stress.
Step 4. Explore relaxation techniques through clapping
Tapping with fingertips in Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a way of releasing stress and emotional stress by tapping acupressure points.,
- Know the issues that bother you the most.
- Determine the points that need to be patted on your body, namely:
- The outer side of the palm that feels the most supple when pressed.
- Top of the head.
- Inner brow tip.
- Bone at the tail of the eye.
- Under the nose in the middle just above the upper lip.
- Use two fingers to tap one of the dots. Tap five times at each point then move to the next point.
- Say words of acceptance to yourself. For example, say to yourself while patting, "Even though it feels like crying, I accept myself completely with all my heart."
Step 5. Do a visualization exercise
One easy way to calm your mind is to visualize while counting backwards from 10 to 1. Just like breathing exercises, these exercises can be done anywhere. You just have to imagine a mental image for each number. Start at number 10 while taking deep breaths until your stomach expands. Exhale on a count of 9. As the number gets smaller, also visualize the number moving down inside your body.
Observe the muscle tension that is still felt as you continue to breathe and focus on the numbers until the tension subsides
Step 6. Prepare a box to store items that can remind you to stay strong
Look for symbols or visual reminders of things that make you feel relieved or safe. You're free to put anything in the box, as long as it inspires you to keep trying and stay calm. Feeling strong, capable, and empowered keeps you calm in the face of adversity.
For example, teddy bears usually carry fond memories of security and comfort or a movie that inspired you. There may be a famous person who reminds you to stay strong in the face of adversity. Looking at photos of your childhood or loved ones also makes you feel stronger
Step 7. Give yourself a gift
Appreciate yourself during the face of adversity. You have to learn to accept the situation, but you can reward yourself for staying calm. Go to the movies or go for a walk on a cool morning. Appreciating yourself for being able to endure challenges allows you to be able to control your emotions and always feel calm.
Research shows that successfully controlling negative emotions is determined by your ability to increase the flexibility to shift your attention between difficult situations and things you enjoy
Part 2 of 4: Letting Go of Emotions Safely
Step 1. Keep a journal to record your emotions
Letting go of your emotions keeps you calm in difficult times. When you have to face life's tough challenges, you may tend to be angry, hopeless, afraid, sad, grieving, or embarrassed. Emotions that continue to accumulate tend to cause panic and difficulty controlling yourself. Learning to appreciate emotions will give you a better understanding of how to deal with adversity.
Use a journal to write things down that can help you release emotional baggage. Remember that no matter how painful an emotion you are feeling, it is just an emotion and will pass. The best way to release emotional baggage is to think about the best and write them in a journal
Step 2. Deal with anger in a safe way
Use a journal to record everything that makes you angry by listing the names of people, events, situations, social stresses, financial problems, losses, etc. Write all these things on paper and tear it up. Focus on the anger while observing the part of your body that is feeling it. Also pay attention to whether there are other things that make you angry. While tearing the paper, imagine that you see yourself free from anger.
- Experts recommend that you don't express your anger by hitting, punching, or using force. This will only make you angrier, not lessen it.
- Alternatively, exercise can help relieve anger that has accumulated. Some studies suggest that you run or do aerobics to calm yourself down after an angry event. Exercise helps release endorphins, which are natural chemicals that can improve mood.
- Read the wikiHow Letting Go of Anger, which explains some healthy ways to express anger.
Step 3. Express your sadness in a journal
Use an emotion journal to record what makes you sad right now. Do you feel hurt because of someone else's actions or because something has happened? Are you sad that you missed the opportunity? For going through a sad hard time? Make the list as long as possible without judging the emotions you feel.
Step 4. Give yourself a chance to cry
The best way to let go of sadness is to cry. If you need privacy, find a place to be alone, such as in your room, in the car, or in the bathroom. Identify the part of your body that is feeling sad and appreciate this feeling by taking the time you need. Watching sad movies or listening to sad songs can sometimes help.
While journaling, write down anything about how sad you feel, how it feels in your body, what things make you feel sad. Tough times usually bring sadness, so give yourself a chance to feel the sadness and let it go
Step 5. Admit if you feel afraid
Fear is an emotion that prevents the emergence of calm in difficult times. Fear is just an emotion, just like any other emotion. You can overcome fear by accepting fear for what it is as an emotional response that can be overcome like any other emotion. Fear often pops into your mind with the words, “I can't do it” or “I'm afraid of change” or “I'm afraid of what will happen.” Fear is always associated with negative thoughts about the future.
- When keeping an emotion journal, write down all the things that you are afraid of because you think about the difficulties you are going through. After that, write down all the positive and negative consequences that may occur. Also write down changes that will occur in your daily life that scare you and why you are afraid to make these changes.
- Keep a consistent journal until you figure out why you're feeling afraid. Let go of your emotions until you can be proactive and at least realize that your choices can give you peace of mind. You can't get rid of the difficulties of life, but you can overcome your fears by understanding that you are feeling afraid.
Step 6. Think of ways to overcome your fears
Once you know what causes your fear by journaling, you can begin to work on it. First of all, admit that fear is a natural human response, so everyone can experience fear. Just like anxiety, the only way to get rid of fear is to acknowledge it and overcome it. After that, use the journal to determine how to get rid of the fear.
- For example, imagine that you are feeling disappointed that your work was never appreciated, but you are afraid to say it. The thought of talking to your boss already scares you.
- Find out why you are afraid. Is it because your boss once rejected someone's idea that you're worried he won't listen to your opinion? Is it because you don't feel confident talking to people in higher positions? Are you worried that you will come across as demanding and will lose your job if you ask for respect? Finding out why you are afraid can help you take the next action.
- Once you understand why you are afraid, think about how to deal with the problem so that you can overcome your fear. For example, if you're not confident talking to your boss, ask a friend to help you practice. Prepare a draft of the conversation you will have with your boss according to the flow you want. Also prepare a draft with an unexpected flow of conversation and then practice it with your friends. This will make you more prepared to face adversity and increase your self-confidence.
- Be patient with yourself. Overcoming fear can be a lifelong learning process and you need to take the time to get over the fear you are experiencing.
Part 3 of 4: Recognizing Your Strengths
Step 1. Do meditation
Meditation is a way of being aware of the present and accepting it without judgment. In addition, you are able to realize how powerful you are by meditating. Many studies show that the practice of meditation has many benefits for physical and mental health, such as normalizing the heart rate and boosting the immune system which causes a feeling of calm and happiness. Meditation is also reshaping the way the brain responds to stress. Meditation can be done in various ways. However, one meditation technique that has been well received through scientific research is mindfulness meditation.
- If there are no meditation courses in your area, look online. The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center provides free downloadable recorded meditation guides.
- There are also several meditation guide mobile apps and short meditations.
- Also, you can read wikiHow articles that explain how to meditate.
Step 2. Practice awareness-building techniques
Based on scientific research, mindfulness-building techniques have been shown to make you feel calmer and more relaxed, improve relationships, increase empathy, and lower high blood pressure.
- You can learn mindfulness meditation techniques online to practice on a daily basis.
- There are many ways to practice mindfulness that take only a few minutes each day. For example, when eating a snack, eat slowly while paying attention to every aspect that you experience through your five senses. What do you smell, see, hear, feel and touch? How do you feel when you eat this snack? Can you feel the food passing through your esophagus and down into your stomach? Paying attention to the little things helps you practice mindfulness in everyday life.
Step 3. Empower yourself by remembering your successes
In everyday life, sometimes we have to face various challenges. While journaling, write down all the emotions you're feeling, sad, angry, afraid, embarrassed, and how to deal with them. Write down how you responded, what you did, and how you dealt with the situation.
Write down successes that make you feel proud. Also write down the last time you made someone smile. Write down all the things you love about your personality, the things that make you brave, the moments that require persistence so you get through it well. Add new things to the journal every day
Step 4. Make a poster about your strengths
Recognize your strengths and believe that they will enable you to overcome adversity, even if it takes time and whatever the outcome. Make a small poster that says, “I am actually stronger than I think” or something else that means the same thing. Hang this poster next to your bed, next to a mirror, or on your bathroom wall.
Step 5. Turn negative thoughts into positive statements
Many people tend to feel sorry for themselves and think, “I deserve this” or “This all happened because of my stupidity.” Take it easy by realizing that you are valuable. The ability to respect yourself makes you able to survive in the face of life's difficulties.
Write down all negative thoughts about yourself that relate to your problem and turn them into realistic positive statements. Judgmental statements, such as "Things are going bad in my life" will eat away at your self-esteem. Change the statement to “Life is full of challenges. Everyone will have difficulties. However, I have also had a pleasant life.” After that, write down all the fun experiences in your life to remind you
Step 6. Keep a gratitude journal
Living life with the right perspective and the right understanding of what's really important in life will give you peace of mind in times of turmoil. Understanding yourself and where you are in life makes you feel calm in the face of adversity.
- Make a gratitude list in an emotion journal. Write down all the things that you are grateful for every day, for example when you saw the grass with a very beautiful green color, when during the day you did not want to give up and decided to face the challenge as best as possible. Sometimes, the decision not to give up is the best thing we can do. Write “Today I don't give up” in bold capital letters and be proud of yourself.
- If needed, look at pictures of outer space to give you perspective on the wonderful universe, the mysteries of life, and the beauty that surrounds us. Build strength knowing that humans can survive in the face of adversity and you are one of them.
Step 7. Find the meaning of the difficulties you are experiencing
One way to get through a tough time is to find meaning in your life, the struggles, and the difficulties you're facing. Use a journal to record what you have learned from your journey so far. Write down the growth opportunities you've had through this experience. Also write down the things that kept you going and why you decided you wanted to keep fighting through life's difficulties.
Why do you try to find ways to stay calm when you are dealing with adversity? Is it for your child, yourself, your lover, your pet, or because you want to survive? Reflecting on the meaning of the life you live allows you to focus and stay calm as you struggle with life's difficulties
Part 4 of 4: Taking Care of Yourself
Step 1. Get in the habit of getting a good night's sleep
Taking care of yourself in difficult times is very important in keeping you energized and healthy. Even if it's hard to fall asleep, you should at least make time to lie down with your eyes closed and rest. Appreciate your body and mind for working hard to be able to cope with stressful situations, so you need to rest and recuperate.
Step 2. Eat healthy foods
Many people do not like to eat or tend to overeat due to stress. Keep a journal to record what you eat. Use a computer or cell phone application that can ensure that you are getting enough calories and not indulging in stress.
Eat healthy foods that are good for the body and brain, such as healthy fruits, vegetables, protein, and whole grains
Step 3. Get used to exercising
The habit of moving with a certain intensity helps clear your mind and reduce stress. A 10-minute walk or dance can help relieve tension and stress so that your body and emotions can recover.
Practice walking in place by stepping up and down for 10 minutes or taking a leisurely run. Do activities that get your body moving enough to improve blood flow and relieve stress
Step 4. Ask for help from supportive people
If you have friends or loved ones you can rely on, ask them for help so you can overcome difficulties. Let them know that you need them to get help and express your feelings.
Step 5. Consider whether you need to see a therapist
Keeping calm in difficult times can be overwhelming. Maybe you feel like you can't control your emotions anymore, want to be angry with other people, or have severe trouble sleeping. If you feel that you are unable to control yourself, you should immediately seek the help of a therapist. Consult a therapist if you continue to be depressed, feel sad, or so hopeless that you are unable to carry out daily activities. A therapist can guide and help you find the peace you need.