By Patricia Love
There are days now I sit quietly and wonder what is going on in this world? It appears, the minute I turn around there is another crisis, and more people seem anxious and angry. Is it because every time they take one step forward, there is another national disaster, virus, or a political and social turmoil that disrupts?
Is this why personally, I feel so anxious and hopeless? Is this global negativity a virus in itself? Lately, it seems like there is one situation after another, on top of the fact, that every day people are dealing with their own daily challenges, pertaining to family sickness, loss of jobs, crime, and their own mental health. For so many, it feels like the struggles will never end.
Are these the reasons for anxiety in your and my life? Is all this difficulty taking a heavy toll on your health, your emotions, and how you look at life in general? Are you feeling helpless, like your life is completely out of control?
While there’s no way to avoid stress in your life, there are several ways to navigate them and regain some sense of order.
You may have heard of resilience, fortunately, we don’t all need to deal with that word until life throws us challenges that we need to overcome…but resilience is a word that will come into your life whether you want it to or not. It is the understanding and the ability to cope with the inevitable change that life throws at us.
Learning to build resilience will help you maneuver through disruptive periods and grow stronger when other obstacles are thrown your way. In other words, you have the power within to get through tough times.
While it’s often difficult to imagine anything good coming out of traumatic experiences, building resilience can help you find the positives in difficult times. Surviving hardships can teach you important things about yourself, by building internal strength, deepening empathy, and in time helping you to grow as a human being.
If you haven’t been through much turmoil in your life, you are very lucky, but life is and can get messy at any moment, so having the ability and the willingness to shift and pivot, is a sign of strength. It will pull you through the turmoil that might have otherwise if allowed, knocked you on your ass. You will never be completely prepared. But knowing you have the mental tools; will help you manage those tough times.
For myself, I once again, reach back into my past, to pull out my own resilient tools, that got me through other hardships, like loss, sexual trauma, and feeling close to homelessness. What did I do then? And what can I do now to shift my own thinking from negative to positive when these feelings of turmoil once again surround me?
Before it was about my personal pain, but today it feels like the whole world is heavy with pain and anxiety. I also know what “I think about, I bring about” and intellectually I know that one person can make an impact on others. So, it’s important that I play my part. That part shows others, there is hope, there is life through troubled times, and these troubled times are just magnified with today’s culture. But, if we look back in history, there have always been times of turmoil, and there will be again, it’s how we shift and navigate through them now that will pull us through to build more resilience for future obstacles.
Take the time to build your own toolbox to use now, so you can always access it when you need it. Once you have found those tools that work for you, you will begin to shift your emotions and turn your feelings of hopelessness around.
When you do, you will begin to find joy at the moment. Or you will find that the smallest of things make you smile. Maybe it’s your fur baby that greets you daily when you come home, or listening to the pounding rain, knowing you feel secure and safe with a well-built roof over your head. Or possibly, it’s just having food on your plate.
What I do know is, when you take the time to be intentional about bringing positivity into your life, even while there is chaos all around you, your life begins to change. You will find that there is hope and happiness and that you can find smiles after all. You will begin to believe in the world again, and when you do…it will translate and move others to do the same. By each of us playing our part, we can change the world and make it a better place.
Here are some ideas that will help you fill your positivity toolbox.
- Consciously work on removing the ego, becoming more humble and understanding that we all have a story. This will lead to less judgment.
- Work daily at pausing and stepping away from social media, broadcast media, and outside influences, to re-group daily with yourself. By removing these, it will allow you to refocus on what is most important in your life.
- Step into nature, which will ground you, and bring you peace from within. Stopping and grounding yourself, will help you focus and retain clarity in your life, because what causes a lot of one’s anxiety is not feeling clear.
- Intentionally take the time, and practice being in the moment, to focus on the little things. It will shift your feelings of overwhelm to calm.
- Practice your breathing, as it will slow you down and calm you almost instantly, so you can be clear to focus on happiness and gratitude.
There is one ritual I do every morning for two minutes. I turn everything off, so I am one with myself. I take several deep breaths and repeat a few times to myself the following:
“Today, I will give myself and others grace, because we are human and mistakes are made…I will have no expectations, and will do, and be the best I can, towards myself and others, in all that I do”
I do this every single day, and it has changed my life. The breathing calms me, and the repetitive daily affirmation keeps positive thoughts in daily check. It is imperative you do this with no distractions, as it will properly set your intention for the day.
It is essential to discover the one thing that will move you and make you want to take action towards being kinder to yourself and others. There is no one size that fits all. So, find that one thing that will work for you, something that will make you feel good, so you will want to build on it, and do it every day.
By using these tools to build resilience, it will help you:
- Stay more focused, and be more productive, not only in the bad times, but in the good times.
- It will help you conquer your fears of an uncertain future.
- Manage your emotions
- Strengthen your relationships and improve communication skills, especially under pressure.
- It will build your confidence.
- It will help you look at things from a different perspective.
There will always be some conflict or turmoil, it is part of life, whether it is global or within your own 4 walls. It has always been there, and it always will be. It will come in different shapes and forms as life moves forward and the world evolves, but it is something that if we are alive, we will have to deal with at some point or another.
Curveballs are a way of life, even if you try to avoid them, they will sneak into your safe comfort zone and create havoc. But if you mentally prepare and welcome change, it can be less hostile. Learn to flow with change, work on looking at things from a different perspective, be open and willing to listen to alternative thoughts and ideas. When you are receptive, you are open to a variety of ideas, and information.
But within all the chaos, there are always gifts, if we take the time to pause…The gift of new life, everyday blessings of family, kind words from a stranger, or the lone flower that finds its way through the crack in the concrete. There is true joy all around us if we are willing to stop, look and listen.
Patricia Love is the author of the #1 best-selling book “Seen and [UN] Heard.” A life coach, who builds confidence in women, who struggle with being seen and heard in their own lives. Turning her own life around at 57, she has made it her mission to turn “her mess, into her message.” She is an advocate for Women’s Voices through her “Healing Hoodies” mission.