“When you focus on the problem, you miss the rainbows of life” -- LBJ
Everyone has problems. Some troubles are self imposed and others are life's unexpected, crazy surprises. Generally speaking, problems are subjective. You see life through your prism. Whether it is cloudy or clear it is still your prism. Nevertheless, what you see is what you get. What you perceive to be real and problematic is what matters. Here's the problem with problems: they catch you off guard and they lurk around when you are at your lowest low. But, here's some good news: most problems are short lived and only a few last a lifetime. They still have the potential to wreak havoc on your life and psyche. One common denominator of problems is stress. This is the hidden anchor that causes you to drown in your sorrows. I learned over the years that all problems breed some form of stress.
The problem with stress
Once stress starts to grow, it limits and prevents you from getting to the shores of life. In order not to be engulfed by the strength of a problem, you have to push past them so you won't sink. By and large, knowing how to keep sailing during hard times will keep you afloat.
Four ways to lift the anchor of stress in your life and push past your problems
- “Chill out” and get help - There are a number of tactics to limit stressful situations. Try meditation, exercise and conflict resolution skills. Don’t hesitate to talk to a confidante and educate yourself about the issues. Knowledge can put your mind at ease and smooth stressful thoughts. And, when all else fails, seek counseling. Why allow yourself to be a captive to stress. Don’t allow the weight of stress to be an overwhelming force in your life. When you stay in control of painful situations, the impact will slowly wash away. You should be willing to try everything possible for your peace of mind and the well being of the people who love and care for you.
- Resolve conflicts - forgive and forget or just say “whatever.” Resolving a conflict starts with you. As surprising as it my seem, resolution starts within. You need to make up your mind. Do you want to let sleeping dogs lie or keep stirring the pot? It's your call. Command your troubles to leave. Tell yourself “I have moved past this difficulty." Tell other people in your life the same. Keep in mind, your perceptions become your reality. Only you can ultimately free yourself from hurtful situations. If you are powerless, problems will attach themselves to your psyche and will not to let go. They can wake you up and make it hard to fall asleep. Put the problem to rest and find peace.
- Don’t own problems that don’t belong to you - One easy way to relieve the problems of stress is to remember that the world’s problems are not your problems. You can only control what you can control and nothing more. You cannot take responsibility for the actions of others no matter how much at fault you think you might be. They have to take responsibility for themselves, as you must do. In the case of an ugly breakup, own your part. After all, you are only responsible for your actions and how it has affected them, not their reaction.
- Learn and live! – As the old saying goes “we live and we learn." Fix problems that can be fixed and don’t worry about those you can’t. Learn from the low points in your life and vow not to relive those moments. Remember that problems can be used to motivate you. Unfortunately, at times you don’t always get from life what you expect. But, one thing you will always get is a lesson. However esoteric it sounds: the universe will never give you more than you can handle. As humans, we are built to sail through the stormy waters of life.
Cut lose the anchor of stress. Constantly remind yourself that at any given moment, you can cast away your worries. Always, take comfort in knowing that problems will come and go. Remember, there is no rhyme or reason to explain why you go through troubled waters, that's just life. The point is, don't let your troubles get the best of you. Simply accept that these experiences are a small part of your existence. There is a bright side, you have learned a lesson. Maybe you can share your story to help others. At the end of the day, only you can push past your pain to see the rainbow in your future.
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