Sometimes life can really hit you hard and no matter how difficult things get its essential you keep positive in tough times.
A good friend of mine has had to deal with the devastating loss of her step father and mother in less than a month. She feels that her life has fallen apart.
Of course, the pain of losing both parents so close together has been incredibly hard to deal with. She has to keep going forward for her kids but this has brought its own crises just days before she buried her mother.
When real people fall in life, they get right back up and keep walking. Sarah Jessica Parker
She’s afraid for her children, which any parent would know is our number one fear.
In her case her daughter has recently gone through a divorce, and seriously damaged her ankle, but worse was to follow. She found herself being bullied, trolled and groomed online by a man who claimed to be many things that he wasn’t. Friends and other of her contacts were sent venomous emails. The day before the funeral she was with her while giving her statement to the police. Life can be so cruel at times. How difficult it can be to keep positive in tough times, but we must find a way.
Fall seven times. Stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
She feels in bits, which is understandable.
The loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and can cause a major emotional crisis.
With this other thing going on in her life, things feel as though they can’t get any worse. She feels that things will never be the same – that you’ll never laugh or be whole again. She is experiencing a range of negative emotions, such as:
It was important for her to know that there are actually very specific stages of grief that every human being will go through. There are no doubts my friend is going through this grieving process.
In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing terminal illness, but many people have generalized them to other types of negative life changes and losses, such as the death of a loved one or a break-up.
The five stages of grief are:
Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
Depression: “I’m too broken to do anything.”
Acceptance: “I accept what has happened.”
These feelings are normal and common reactions, they help you come to terms with your loss. You never stop missing your loved one, but the pain eases after time and allows you to go on with your life.
Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. Confucius
Here are some steps you need to follow to help. Try these I promise you they will help big style. They will help you keep positive in tough times.
Accept you’re in bad shape
You need to give yourself the time and space to gather your thoughts. During tough times we have all sorts of thoughts swirling around in our head. They mostly negative and have the power to bring us down. You become obsessed by the negativity of your situation, the sadness of how you feel, the despair of being able to do nothing to change things. All of which is understandable. You have to accept that things are bad, and there are things you are powerless to change. Yet knowing that you are in pain, you need to realise you must make adjustments in order to survive and get on with living. Once you make the decision that you have to get on with living, you are opening the door to make this possible, to find the solutions you need.
Nothing stays permanent in life
It’s important to remember that nothing stays permanent in life. How you are feeling now will change. The crises you face will be resolved. Nothing stays permanent, and things come, and things go. That’s just life. When you are feeling life’s knockout blows, it is also important to remember that all those blows are just temporary. But you have to ride the storm, it is never pleasant. When things are raw of course they hurt, but time is a great healer, if you allow it to be. You, and only you, can work your way through the grieving process. Whatever it is you’ve lost, whether it be a loved one, a pet, a job, a relationship. The time will come when you resolve the thoughts in your head, you accept what has happened, and although never forget you will be able to move on with your life. Make the decision quickly that this is what you want, I beg you not to hold on to your grief for ever. I have lost my parents and eldest sister, I remember them every day, say a prayer for them, but my life goes on, and with this so does my good memories of the times shared.
Change your focus
Most people believe they can’t control their emotions, but they can control where they place their focus, the language they use, and whether they choose to take responsibility for their happiness. When we take responsibility for our lives, shift our focus, and change the way we talk to ourselves we take back control of our experiences. I know when I lost my father it was natural to grieve his loss. Very quickly I realised I was feeling down because I was missing him. By changing my focus to the fact he was in a better place, re-joining my mother, and focusing on that helped immensely. By also changing it to celebrating his life and the things he did, as well as remembering the good times and the best memories we shared eased the pain even more. So just by changing my focus, I changed my emotions. Very quickly I was back to my best, which didn’t lessen his meaning to my life, just that I assured I could adjust fast. I have come to learn that nobody benefits from allowing our grief to remain undeterred for an age. Find something, positive, for you to focus on, use the power of this to shift your focus.
Every time you feel tempted to become even more sad, angry, or self-pitying, grab a diary and write down the good things that come to mind. I strongly suggest journalism to anybody. Alternatively in moments of sadness or despair, you can force yourself to get outside, go for a walk, breath in fresh air and notice something beautiful which nature offers us in bucketful’s. When life is bleak even the smallest gifts like the song of a bird or colour of the sky can jar you up a notch. Walking in its own right has the ability to relax you and help you to adjust your focus.
Be grateful for things in your life
We human beings have the tendency to focus on what’s wrong rather than what’s right. We see the world in a glass half empty. We forget the good we are experiencing. It gets lost in our self-pity and fear. But it’s there and we need to think about it to diminish the demons we carry in our head. My whole life is empowered by thoughts of my daughters and grandchildren, of the people’s lives I change for the better through my writing and coaching, and I am grateful for these things. Thankful for the gifts of life and love they provide me with. Each morning I think to myself of the things I am grateful for before letting my feet hit the carpet. This isn’t to put myself in a false happy mood, or an attempt to forget any difficulties, it is simply a reminder that there are good things in life. Balancing the good in your life with any bad events gives you a sanity that helps you accept what has happened. My own health, grandchildren, and writing gave me the strength to move through the stages of grieving and you can come up with your own methods and positive thoughts.
Read something inspirational daily.
You can’t control the world around you but you can adjust your inner emotions. “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” the German philosopher Nietzsche famously said. Quotes like this can inspire and motivate. The positivity we can take in to our minds will give us strength to keep going, accept what has happened, make sense of it and move on. You need to find things to inspire you, and words do this. You need to be motivated into taking action, words can do this. So, daily, read personal development books or blogs, or read the bible and let that inspire you.
Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger
Take care of your health.
Take care of your health by eating healthily, at least 3 times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Try and get 8 hours of sleep nightly. You need to do these things to take care of yourself, to ensure you remain energised and well. To move your life forward you have to be at your peak, so taking care of yourself is essential. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief. Most important is exercising. Not only does this give us a break from what we’re doing and our worries; it’s also great for our minds. Anything moderately aerobic, such as jogging or simply a brisk walk, has a physical impact on our brain, helping us to think more clearly.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha
Seek out caring people.
Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses. Tell others how you are feeling; it will help you to work through the grieving process. Their support can help greatly.
Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.
A Quitter never wins-and-a Winner never quits. Napoleon Hill
To my friend and any of you dealing with the loss of a loved one or some other major life crises “I’m sorry for you loss and I’m here for you, you have my heart and support. I will keep you close in my thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks as you are going through your process of grieving.”