Everyone in life struggles at some point. There’s not a person on the planet who’s had a perfect existence with no mental strife whatsoever - it’s impossible. Learning how to handle difficult situations and times of mental cloudiness is vital to sustaining a strong mindset.
We relayed a few tricks in Parts One and Two of this series that can help in times of difficulty: ground yourself in your values and engage your core desired feelings by changing your language in order to achieve a more desired mental state. No one can or should live life based on what other people perceive to be fitting; therefore, we need to have confidence that our viewpoints matter and have the courage to follow our instincts.
Lastly, we need to consider the way we think about life’s difficulties and what we fixate on everyday. It’s easy to slip into the trap of thinking negatively and concentrating on what has or could go wrong, but doing so does not lead to a more fulfilled life.
Focus on one Point
Spotlight what is working rather than what is not. If your core desired goal is feeling at peace, ask yourself, “What can I concentrate on in my life that is peaceful?” Say you have a job that can be challenging, but your personal relationships more often than not are very gratifying. Spending the majority of your time concentrating on the difficulties of your work life will hinder the happiness you feel in your personal life. Instead of concentrating on your job, focus on how happy your personal life makes you and the benefits those intimate relationships give you. Consider that even those who work at their “dream job” sometimes feel overwhelmed and unenthusiastic. Count your blessings and know that it’s okay to feel unbalanced.
There is always something in life you can feel grateful for. If you think both your personal and professional life could use some work, take other aspects of your life into consideration. If you’re in good health, consider yourself blessed. If you wake up in the morning and have a roof over your head and food to eat, you’re one of the lucky ones. Focus on what’s working not what may be broken at the moment. Everyone has to do things in life they don’t always love, but focusing on what you do love will no doubt improve your outlook.
Permission for Asymmetry
A lot of people struggle with the myth of having to acquire balance everyday. Think of the need for balance as something unnecessary to strive for. When you stand on two feet perfectly still, perfectly balanced, you don’t go anywhere. As human beings, we are constantly in motion, and it’s okay not to have every aspect of our life perfectly synced. When we require all aspects of life to be in continuity, we’re setting ourselves up to fail in all aspects of our existence.
Sometimes your family life will be more important than your work life, your children’s baseball game will be more important than cleaning the house on your Saturday off, or your date night with your spouse or partner more important than immediately returning a work email - and that’s okay. Balance is graciously accepting the times of imbalance.
Give yourself a chance to consider life as an adventure rather than a routine or chore. Don’t stress over a need for everything to be exactly in its place equally, but rather consider that even when things are skewed maybe they are exactly where they need to be at that moment. Do your best at striving for happiness, but allow your joy to be fluid and changing with each experience. Most of all, don’t expect yourself to be perfect! The sooner we allow for imperfection, the better our mental state will be overall.
Do your very best at making yourself happy and more courageous day-by-day, minute-by-minute, and you’ll discover positive feelings trickling into all aspects of your life.