Thursday, 15 September 2016

Seven Ways To Stay Mentally Strong In A Crisis

It’s probably happened to all of us at some time or other. We’ve all been made redundant, undergone such stress that we can’t go on, been hit by sudden serious illness or been bullied. It could be one of many things.

What all these things have in common is their ability to rock us back on our heels. We lose our forward momentum in life. Nothing else seems important and we turn inward, asking why it’s happened and why it’s happened to us.

It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves at these points, to feel hard done to and carry our misfortune like a badge of honour.

You probably already appreciate that by doing so you’re not doing yourself any favours. Do you really want people to feel sorry for you or do you want them to respect you for how you respond to your troubles?

If you do want to respond positively to your crisis, however deep it may be, take a look at these seven ways you can stay mentally strong in a crisis.

1.     Change Your Perspective

Harsh as it may sound, it’s unlikely that no one has ever been through what you are right now, no matter how serious it is. Without trivializing what it is you’re experiencing, ask yourself, “how many different ways could I see this event?” Could it be a time of growth or personal development? Could it make you stronger? Will you learn new skills which you could use later on in other circumstances? What meaning or purpose could you find in what’s happening? Does it provide you with an opportunity to be a role model for how you deal with the event? All these things are possible and many people through the ages have chosen to see their ordeal in this way.

2.     You Have A Choice

So just as you can choose how you see your experience, you can also choose your attitude and how much responsibility you take for what’s happened and what is to happen next. You can choose your actions and behaviour too.

Nowhere is there a rule which says you have to respond in a certain way. No book has been written which tells you which actions to take. At this moment, you may feel angry and you may feel let down but only you will decide where to go from here.

It’s your choice.

3.     Take Responsibility

When you have decided that you will choose, make the first thing you say to yourself, “what can I do about it?”

You have probably needed some time to process what’s happened to you. Maybe you have had to grieve for someone you have lost or a previous life you sense has gone for ever. It’s okay. It’s human.

However, if you want to take control of what happens from now on, then ask yourself, “what can I do about it?”

Don’t stop at the first thing you think of. Challenge yourself to make a list of at least twenty things. Reflect on these options and, soon after, you’ll begin to feel that you are taking back a little bit of control of your life.

4.     Relentless Positivity

From now on and in all things be relentlessly positive. Look carefully at all that happens in your life to find the good aspects. Whether it’s one thing or ten focus on them. You’ll spend enough time thinking about the negatives as the world is often full of them. Give yourself dedicated positive time to list the good things that have happened to you in a day. Treat everything that happens as a lesson in life and be glad you can still learn.

5.     Develop The Gratitude Attitude

Besides being positive, be grateful too. Something has happened for which you may not feel grateful. That’s understandable. However, when you make a habit of gratitude for all the small wonders of the world, little by little you may get to the point where you are grateful too for the experience you are going through. It may have changed your life. Eventually you may come to see that it changed it for the better.

6.     Forgive

The anger you currently feel for the experience which has overwhelmed you is an emotion which will ruin you but leaves the cause or the perpetrator unmoved. Forgiveness to a person who has wronged you or to life in general is hard. Hard, however, is not impossible. Let go of your anger and resentment and experience the release of pain and tension which is like no other. Then and only then will you really move forward in the way you have chosen.

7.     Take Action

When you do commit to act, make sure of two things.

One, align your actions with your values. You like many others may have re-assessed what’s important to you after the shock of your adversity. If you have not, now would be a good time. Think about how you would like to be remembered. Will your actions lead you in the direction which will cause you to be remembered in the right way? 

Two, base your actions on your strengths. Your strengths are your bedrock in times of trouble. They can always be relied on and will help you to be the most effective person you can be.

What do you think of the seven ways to stay mentally strong in a crisis? Comment below or on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter. And if you find them useful, perhaps someone else you know will too. Why not give them a share or retweet?

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