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There’s no doubt about it. Life can be hard. There are so many of us that have been (or are currently being thrown) difficult situations that rock us to our absolute core. In fact, I know what that’s like personally. Watching my brother fight brain cancer has been a serious challenge for me. It’s also taught the timeless lesson of how to stay positive in negative situations.
Today is a very personal post. These are tips that I have learnt and practice daily. Learning how to stay positive in negative situations – whether it’s an illness, a break up or another family matter – can really test us. I hope these tips can help you see out of your tough situation and find a little light wherever you can.
Related Content: How To Find Courage During Difficult Times
Drop your expectations
One of the hardest parts of being faced with tough situations is how much it challenges our expectations. When my brother was diagnosed with cancer so many people commented on how it was fair. But fair is a concept that we created. It’s not how the world works. Things don’t always happen to people based on whether we think they’re “good” or “bad”, they just happen.
When we drop our expectations and beliefs on how things “should” be, we learn how to handle negative situations and how to stay positive during difficult times. We also save our energy FOR the situation instead of spending it being angry for too long about how things “should have been”.
Another point on expectations and how to go through hard times in life is to remember that when sh*t hits the fan, that this is life. It’s a lot easier to work with difficult situations than spend time stressing that the day isn’t turning out as it should be or that the situation didn’t go as planned.
When we’re learning how to how to stay positive in negative situations, it’s best to try and drop our expectations as much as we can. When we focus on how things should be rather than what they are, we are practicing resistant. Which is adds a ton of extra stress we don’t need.
We can’t control everything
When we’re trying to figure out how to stay positive in negative situations, a big lesson we learn is that we can’t control everything. This might seem like a common sense thing, but when you’re dealing with cancer or hear bad news our first instinct is to do everything we can to control it.
This goes back to expectations. When we’re working on how to stay positive during difficult times, we struggle with our expectations. When things fall short, we try our hardest to hold and control things. This is a BIG recipe for stress.
Staying positive also means learning what we can and can’t control. For the difficult situations that we can control, we should do what we can. But there’s power in acknowledging the things we don’t have control over and dropping our expectations about it.
This was some of the best advice I received on how to handle negative situations when we’re in a fight to hold on to control.
When we can’t control or manage something – we can only manage our mind
When we’re at a point in life where our expectations are falling short and we can’t control things, it can be an extremely tough place to be. Sometimes the way to answering how to handle difficult situations in life is in our minds.
If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. – Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou said it best in her quote. If we’re in a position where we really can’t change something, then our next best move is to change how we think about it. Fill your mind with good resources or guides to help you through. Meditate. Take more walks. Give yourself more self care time. Whatever is going to help you change your mindset.
Watching my brother go through his challenges has completely shattered all my expectations of how life “should” be. It’s also not in my direct control. When I find myself going crazy trying to find other ways to control the situation I know it’s time to step back and reset my mind. And that’s exactly what I have done and I really attribute that to my being able to handle the situation a lot better.
Manage your company
When we’re in the middle of a sh*t storm, the last thing we need is bad company to make the sh*t storm worse.
Figuring out how to stay positive in negative situations is hard enough without negative people hanging around making our lives harder.
One thing I have learnt personally is to be wary of company. Who you let in during difficult times is important because this is part of what’s feeding your mind and affecting your environment.
We have those people in our lives who give great advice on how to go through hard times in life. Then we have the ones who don’t help and can drain us. If you have family or friends that you struggle with, then it’s best to try and manage that company as oppose to just put up with it.
Difficult times are mentally challenging. If someone is making it harder, for our own mental wellbeing we need to be aware of this and not be scared to create boundaries.
Choose your voice!
There’s so much advice out there on how to handle negative situations. But the best advice and the only advice you should put first is your own. Your voice is important. When you’re in a difficult situation no one else is in your shoes but you. While other people may be involved, at the end of the day you’re the only one that can see it through your eyes. So don’t forget about your voice and don’t be afraid to choose it.
If someone gives you advice on how to stay positive in negative situations and it doesn’t work for you, don’t follow it. If you know there’s something else you can do to help you, then do that. Don’t get caught up in everyone else’s voices and opinions. While they may love you, not everyone is you. Only you are.
Don’t forget about yourself
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got on how to handle difficult situations in life was to make sure to take care of myself. Really, when we’re faced with a personal disaster, we don’t think of taking care of yourself. We think of everyone else. Which is important. But as they, if your own bucket isn’t full, you have less to give to others. So don’t forget about yourself! To take care of others, you also need to take care of yourself.
Life gives us lessons – it’s up to us whether we choose to learn them or not
At the end of the day, when we’re working through how to go through hard times in life without permanently losing our marbles, we need to remember that life is full of lessons. Whether we take them us lessons and see what we can learn from them is up to us. Always. Great advice that remains etched in my brain is “Nothing is your fault, everything is your responsibility”.
Life doesn’t always go our way. It doesn’t always meet our expectations and no matter how hard we try we cannot control everything. What we can do though is surround ourselves by good company, choose to listen to our voice, take care of ourselves and see the lesson in it. No matter how hard things get. And again, this is something I write about personally as I go through these difficulties day by day.
I hope this helps.