Problems are an integral part of life. Like those expected yet unpredictable foes that inevitably knock on our door, learning how to handle them should be everyone’s priority. In this article, I share three powerful techniques to help you withstand and grow from life’s challenges, whether it’s a breakup, rejection, sickness, loss, or uncertainty.
Count Your Blessings
I know which question is going through your mind as you read this subheading. How can someone count their blessings when they’re obviously in a total mess?
While this may sound mundane, insensitive, and senseless, it’s actually an effective way to prevent our thoughts from clouding our judgments when we are in the eye of the storm. No matter how difficult a situation, there is always a silver lining. We only have to search for it.
When suffering through hardships, ask yourself: What are three upsides of this plight? Merely answering this question will give you a considerable morale boost.
Put Your Problems Into Perspective
Besides counting your blessings, you can reevaluate your torments in one of the following two ways.
First, whenever you are in deep water, put your problems in perspective by striving to find ten worse difficulties you could be facing instead. Alternatively, you can identify ten other people who are so much worse off than you.
Reexamine your obstacles in such a manner is a practical approach to building humility and to creating a sense of agency critical for identifying solutions to your problems.
Ask Yourself the Power Question
A mindset change is important, but it should be backed by deliberate actions. To take action toward solving your problems, you must avoid blame questions such as “Why me?” “Why is this happening to me?” Instead, ask yourself the power question: “What inner strength do I have—or need to develop—to solve this problem?” The power question will enable you to direct your attention toward finding ways out of the rut rather than blaming, whining, or criticizing. That’s the meaning of Epicurus’s famous quote. “Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempest.”
Does this mean you will be problem-free? Absolutely not. But you will gain the mental maturity that will allow you to bend without cracking and to adjust your sails with the never-ending whirling wind of anxiety, worry, and stress.