When you're going through a rough time, it's hard to concentrate on anything besides how hard it feels in the moment.
Focusing on how unfair your situation may be and dwelling on the pain won't do anything to alleviate the stress of the situation. In fact, it will probably make it worse!
Instead, embrace your struggle by recognizing any of the five truths below.
1. You're growing stronger.
Instead of rooting through all the possible reasons behind the pain, embrace the simple truth that you'll be a stronger person just for getting through it. This is the way it has to be right now in order to create a brighter future!
2. This will lead you to the next step in your life.
Life is a series of trials and tribulations. Without them, we can't get to the good parts.
Think of it this way: very few people in the grand total of the population are born in the most beautiful parts of the world. Most people have to travel in order to get there. To do that, you have to save up money for a plane ticket, wait in the hectic airport, fly for hours on end, maybe lose a bag and find out that your hotel room is next to the elevator ... but you get there, and you appreciate the beauty all the more for the journey.
Know that you're on your way to someplace great; you just have to do a little traveling first.
3. Your story is getting more interesting.
When I struggle, I like to think of my life as a novel. If someone were to read it, would it be interesting? It wouldn't be if you didn't have any setbacks!
Think about how boring life would be if you rode the comfortable train the whole way through. You wouldn't learn anything. You wouldn't be grateful for what you have because you wouldn't understand what it was like to be without it. You wouldn't know how resilient you can be when faced with an obstacle.
Embrace your adventure, and know that the stories worth reading never end in chaos.
4. This is an opportunity to go deeper.
It's not easy to be present when we're emotionally stripped raw because it hurts more than being present in good times. When we do, however, we tune into our inner strength, and are able to empower ourselves forward with clarity and faith.
Here's how to go deeper without getting lost in the darkness (note: if you're going through extreme stress or are worried that this exercise will bring up emotions too painful to handle by yourself, please put this aside and call a mental health professional before proceeding):
Close your eyes in a safe, quiet place.
Take a few deep breaths to calm your mind.
Allow yourself to fully feel the emotions you're having, knowing that you are safe. Take deep, steady breaths and let the emotions out.
Start to breathe into a mantra that makes you feel strong. Some of my favorites are, "I am enough," "I will survive and thrive," and "I am stronger than this struggle." Repeat these mantras while breathing deeply for as long as it takes for you to feel strong and capable.
Ask yourself what you need to do to move forward in spite of this struggle. Take a few breaths to ruminate on this.
Open your eyes when you're ready, and write down the solution you came up with. Then go into the rest of your day focused and determined!
Realizing your own strength in the midst of distress can be an enlightening experience. Embrace this opportunity to go deeper!
5. Your triumph will inspire someone else's.
When you rise above your struggle and come out of it stronger and wiser, you inspire others around you to do the same.
You can give someone the hope they need to keep fighting, just by surviving your own hardships.
After I climbed out of the worst of my clinical depression and felt strong enough to share it with the world, I received email after email expressing gratitude from people who — only after reading my story — have triumphed over their own depression. You affect the lives of those around you every day, just by choosing how you get through the day!
You can handle whatever the universe throws at you. No matter how hard it seems, you are stronger than you know, and you aren't alone in this.