Do you ever wonder how you’re going to get through it?
“It” being the scary, hard, seemingly impossible-to-overcome thing that you’re currently facing?
If you’ve ever had feelings like that, you’re definitely not alone! I think it’s safe to say that everyone has experienced feeling this way at some point in their life. Especially right now, with so many people in quarantine from COVID-19.
I felt that way when it seemed like I was stuck in a job that I just couldn’t take anymore. Every single day was a struggle to get through. Monday through Friday, I woke up with the horrible awareness that I was going to spend the next 8 hours bored, unhappy, and unfulfilled. I dreaded each day. I had to drag myself to work day in and day out. I felt no joy in what I was doing, but I felt like I had no choice but to keep doing what I was doing in order to make ends meet.
I was stuck in this gloomy, depressing, mental and emotional space day after day. And needless to say, it had a huge negative impact on my mental health.
Have You Ever Felt Stuck or Hopeless?
A lot of people are feeling this way right now because of the coronavirus pandemic that is ravaging the world. People are stuck inside their homes, unless they have to go somewhere for an “essential” service. They are literally “stuck” in place.
So many people have been laid off or fired, and are now left wondering and worrying about how they are going to pay their rent, buy food, or pay their bills. People are scared and stressed.
You may be one of them- feeling hopeless; wondering how you possibly improve your current situation with everything that’s going on in world and with the state of the economy right now?
No matter what the situation, or how different your situation may be from someone else’s, you can rest assured that everyone, at some point, has felt this low vibe, melancholy way. However, the knowledge that you’re not alone doesn’t really do much to make your situation, or how you’re feeling right now, any better, now does it?!?
But, the rest of this article just might!
Minds-set Shifts to Get Through the Tough Times
Louise Hay may no longer be with us, but her wisdom definitely lives on! Below are few extremely inspirational quotes from her book with Cheryl Richardson, You Can Create an Exceptional Life.
All of these quotes can help you change your current viewpoint and help you to work your way out of a situation that feels hopeless, overwhelming, and scary.
A Little Help From Louise Hay
“Miracles occur when we repeat our positive affirmations as often as, or more often than, our worries. This is how our negative conditions begin to turn around, no matter what the problem.”
When you’re going through something that’s hard, overwhelming, and seems hopeless, it can be ridiculously easy to focus on the negative.
I mean, how can you not worry? How can you not stress?
The first step is to become aware of the worried or stressed thoughts that are running through your head at lightning speed. Then, each time you have a worried, scared, or stressful thought, acknowledge it and feel it. Sit with it. Don’t try to ignore it or bury it; that won’t help matters in the long run. But then you need to work on intentionally shifting to a different thought, even if that new thought is just slightly better than the negative thought it’s replacing.
Instead of thinking “This is hopeless”, change it to “I will make it through this eventually”. Instead of “Things will never get better”, change it to “I can create positive changes, just by taking one small step at a time”.
If you can do this each and every time you have a fearful thought, or at least every time that you catch them happening, it will have a profound impact on your outlook…and your situation.
“By training ourselves to see the perfection in our most difficult moments- a perspective that can often only be seen in hindsight- we learn to trust life. We come to understand that, while we might not like a certain outcome, life may be leading us in a new, more appropriate and beneficial direction.”
This idea further builds on the first quote. If you can get into the habit of changing how you see things, you can truly change your life- for the better. Is there any way you can shift your current negative viewpoint and see a glimmer of positivity, no matter how tiny it may be?
For example, if you’re stuck at home during a quarantine, can you bel glad that you get to spend more time with your kids before they grow up and leave home? If you’re not able to work, can you use this time to get super clear on what you want in life? Or maybe you can finally take the time to learn the new skill you’ve been wanting to focus on but never had the time to do so-until now? Do you finally have the time to get into a regular exercise routine?
Even though your current situation may not be ideal in any way, shape, or form, believe that it is happening for the best; it can lead you in an amazing, new direction you never would have seen coming otherwise!
Focus on: “Simplicity- focusing on small, manageable steps instead of making things complicated.
Optimism- putting attention and energy toward solutions rather than focusing on problems.”
When you’re overwhelmed by something- trying to find a job in a recession; trying to discover what you actually want to do with your life so that you can get out of your unfulfilling job; trying to make your business grow- try breaking the big, huge, daunting goal into little, simple steps.
For example, if the idea of trying to figure out what you want to do with your life stresses you out to the point where your mind just shuts down, how can you take baby steps forward?
- Make a list of all the thing you know you DON’T want
- Look up books or blogs that can help get you thinking
- Start a journaling practice and write down anything and everything that even remotely interests you for the next couple of weeks
- Brainstorm on what your innate strengths, skills, and abilities are; how can those translate into a career/profession?
The key is to break down the big goal into as many simple steps as you can, and then take those steps one minute/hour/day at a time. You don’t need to worry about trying to do everything all in one day; we’re trying to minimize the overwhelm by breaking these steps down. That way, you can move forward from a good, positive, productive head space. Which helps keep you on track for the second part of that quote- optimism.
“How can I really feel good in this moment? What thoughts can I think right now that will make me feel better? That’s the question we need to constantly be asking ourselves.”
The goal here is to get out of a negative mind space. Nothing good can come from that space, or those kinds of thoughts.
So, even when you’re stressed, even when you’re overwhelmed, even when you feel that you’ll never get out of the situation you’re stuck in- how can you feel good in that moment?
Can you be grateful for your job and your paycheck, even if it’s not the job of your dreams?
If you’ve lost your job, can you focus on the thought that maybe, just maybe, it’s because you’re about to get an even better job? And you never would have even been aware that this other job was out there if you were still employed at your previous job?
Channel Pollyanna and play the Glad game; what can you feel glad about in this moment? What possible silver lining can you find in your situation? Keep trying to look at things from this positive perspective, and see how your spirits lift!
“Most people have created a habit of constantly complaining in their mind. Each time we do this, it is an affirmation, a very negative affirmation. The more we complain, the more we find to complain about. Life always gives us what we concentrate on.”
Again, when you’re going through something stressful it can be very hard to not focus on the negative. It can seem impossible to not worry. But, here’s the key: just try your hardest not to put too much time & energy on the negative affirmations- the worry, the stress, the complaints.
When you’re in a low space, a space where you’re scared or anxious or depressed, all you’re going to do is bring about more to be scared about, more to be anxious about, more to be depressed about. But don’t freak out when you do feel those emotions. Feel the fear, feel the worry, feel the stress. Acknowledge what is making you feel those feelings. Just don’t let those feeling overtake your whole day or week or month! Shift out of them as quickly as possible. Shift your thoughts to more positive ones.
Get in a positive space so that you can find more to be positive about- life always gives you what you concentrate on!
“Our thinking either makes us feel good or it makes us feel bad. It’s not the events nearly as much as it’s the thoughts.”
Everything up to now basically comes down to these 2 sentences. The thoughts you think can make you feel good or they can make feel bad. Even if you are in the midst of a seemingly hopeless situation, it is still possible to have thoughts that make you feel good!
We always have a choice. You and you alone are in control of your thoughts.
You can choose to think:
- I have gotten through harder things than this!
- I know that something better is waiting for me on the other side of this
- I am ready to learn the lesson from this experience and move forward
- I am strong. I am capable. I will figure this out.
Choose to think the thoughts that make you feel good!
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.