This week I received a question from a reader asking how to stay positive in a bad situation. Here is what is going on:
I’m in a very difficult situation and would like to have your suggestions to be able to think positive. My father suffers from a serious cancer, and I have developed a major depression after learning the news, and right now I’m on sick leave. I have almost no social support (no friends) except members of my family. My family like me is tired because we have all been taking care of my father. I have always worked hard at school, but even then things haven’t come easy. I have never had a passion for anything that I could now rely on to try to get out of my situation. What should I do?
First off, I want to say I am sorry to hear about your father’s diagnosis. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
The impact of cancer is a tremor felt by every member of the family and it is never easy to deal with. I can only imagine what you and your family are going through.
When I have faced adversity in my life, I have found a few things that I can do that seem to provide some relief and comfort. I can only hope they will provide some solace for you. Below is what I have done:
When we are stressed and overwhelmed our basic body functions are affected, even our breathing. The first I do when I am upset or stressed is take a few deep breaths. I find it grounds me and I feel a release. For each moment in a day when you feel like you have hit your max, stop and take 5 deep breaths.
Think about Today not Tomorrow
I find that being mindful about what is happening right now and not worrying about tomorrow helps a lot. I save a ton of energy because I only need to focus on one thing. I also am able to relieve myself of worrying about things I don’t even know for sure are going to happen. Dealing with things as they come and in the moment has been a great stress reliever for me.
Find a Positive Influence
Associate or mix around with people who can provide something of value. Avoid those who zap your energy and motivation. If you can’t avoid them, or don’t want to, learn how not to let them get you down. I find volunteering a great way to meet new people and take my mind off things. When you volunteer you are focused on doing something good and everyone around you is happy and appreciates the effort. You can’t help but go home feeling good about how you spent your time. This feeling good can transfer into others areas of your life.
Try New Things
You mentioned you don’t have any passions. Well it is time to find one. Experiencing a wide variety of life in a positive light will do wonders. Something as simple as trying a new restaurant can lead to new tastes and different sensations. It’s all about the simple pleasures of life.
Read a Book
Read about how those people who fought fear with courage and succeeded in life. Through reading, you will gain new knowledge and understanding and it will help you clear your mind and create a new perspective. It is also a great distraction for your mind.
I find exercise really helps with my moods and emotions. When we exercise our body releases endorphines which are ‘feel good’ hormones. Not only will you feel good after exercising but you will also sleep better which is great for helping you cope and manage the day to day.
These are just a few things that I have found to help me cope and stay positive during rough times. There are many other options out there. This is just a start.
Above all else, remember this quote: “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” – Martha Washington
Readers, how would you try to stay positive and get through this situation? What kinds of things do you think they should try? Please share as your ideas may just be the key to providing some relief in this troubled time.
PS: If you have a question, please submit it here.