Most of us get up every day planning — or hoping, at least — to “tough” our way through the challenges ahead. We’ve got tasks we’re supposed to accomplish, and we’re expected to meet our responsibilities regardless of what the world throws at us. As a culture, we admire people who do what it takes to “get it done,” people who are tough enough that they choose to push a little harder than the average human being.

But even those extra-hardy folks run into disappointments and situations they can’t just muscle through. When Wanderful founder and CEO Beth Santos and the rest of the group traveling the tough desert landscape of Arizona — sponsored by Corning® Gorilla® Glass — faced delays in planned permits combined with bad weather it meant the day’s plans were ruined.

Tough luck indeed, but before despair could set in, one of Beth’s guides suggested rerouting their UTVs to Paria View Overlook, a rarely visited spot for an incredible view of the Grand Canyon. “And it turned out to be amazing,” Beth reported.

No matter how tough you are, you will encounter challenges you can’t power through. But when you’re strong enough to give yourself permission to be flexible, the world opens up in new and unexpected ways, as evidenced in this gorgeous photo. (Beth captured them with her Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ with Gorilla Glass 4 helping to protect the screen, making it tough enough for the hardscrabble Southwestern desert.)

You probably already know this feeling, as there have surely been times you’ve been in a rough spot and then pulled out of it once you relaxed and let your disappointment go. You can use those experiences next time you’re in dire straits, too. Here’s a simple five-minute practice for recovering your footing in the face of bad news or defeat. Think through each step, or record in a journal.

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1. Remember a time you were at a low point.

It could have been recently or a major downer from years ago. What brought it on? What were you sad or upset or angry about? A breakup, or the loss of a job? Unkind words from a friend? How did it feel — infuriating? Lonely? Crushing? Hopeless?

Try to recapture the feeling without letting yourself succumb to it. Dig into your memory and recall what you expected to happen, and how you thought this bad situation would eventually play itself out.

2. Remember how you pulled out of it.

Now that you remember what you thought would happen, ask yourself what really happened. Did your expectations match the reality? Did things turn out as you expected, or better, or worse? And how did you eventually get over the bad feelings? What events took place — who stepped in to help, and what did you learn about yourself? Try to remember how it felt to move from feeling upset to feeling better again, and what helped you. Is it possible — likely, even — that what you’re feeling now will eventually pass as well?

3. Say something loving to your past self.

Ask yourself: Knowing what I know now, what would I say if I could go back and comfort myself during that hard time? What words of counsel or advice would you offer? What positive takeaways came from the bad experience, or at least what did you learn?

Form the comforting words in your mind and speak them aloud (you can do it quietly if you’re in public) to your former — and your current — self.

We believe that it’s the culmination of small, 5-minute practices that will total up to finding your true toughness. In developing Gorilla Glass 4, Corning scientists dropped hundreds of devices to learn how and why glass breaks. Each small step contributed to the toughness of Gorilla Glass 4 that delivers dramatically improved protection against drops. It’s important to be tough, but real strength lies in taking care of yourself. Next time you’re feeling down or upset, give this practice a shot and see if those five minutes make a difference.

Photo courtesy of the author