It’s very easy to surround ourselves with inspirational quotes and motivational mantras when we’re in a positive frame of mind, but when going through a period of stress and strain, the psyche of the human brain makes it much more difficult to see the positives ahead. It is normal to feel helpless, hopeless or frustrated when you’re experiencing turmoil, but there are ways and means to make yourself at least acknowledge the silver linings of any situation and help nurture yourself towards happier, easier times.
These easy techniques are by no means one-size-fits-all, but try them out, judge and manage which works best for you; and use it whenever you need to as a quick self-care fix.
Recognise what you can’t change
There are many things in life that are simply out of our control and as discouraging as this can feel, we need to let go of them. You’re human and saying ‘stop worrying’ will always be a thousand times easier said than done, but you mustn’t invest too heavily in factors you cannot influence – it is a waste of your precious time and effort. Instead, shift your focus to areas where you can make a positive impact, however small it may seem. Cut yourself some slack here and realise that while of course, you may have an emotional investment in unchangeable circumstances, you can only ride the journey and attempt to make it more bearable for yourself and others.
Be kind to yourself
Stressful situations often feel hectic; as though you have no time for yourself and no time to breathe and focus properly for you to tackle the situation after giving it some considered thought. Taking time out for self-care and mindfulness is at its most critical during periods of uncertainty, tension and pressure, so do what you can for yourself. Even if this is just taking a few breaths before walking into a new place, a couple of minutes with your eyes closed over a cup of coffee or a quick yoga stretch, giving yourself some space for clarity will help nourish your mental health.
Visualisation can be a hugely powerful tool but is often not understood thoroughly until it’s tried. Imagine the source of your stress working itself out to result in a neutral or even positive consequence, and mentally explore the channels and methods this could take. Even if the situation continues, are there ways in which the burden on you could be lessened, or removed? Depict new scenarios in your head and conceptualize yourself within them. Even if none of these things materialize, your visualisation will help you identify ways to work towards making them happen.
The nature of stress is that it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. Yet there is goodness in your life, and the little things should still be appreciated. Never forget the time spent with loved ones, memories that make you smile, quirks that make you laugh and feelings you enjoy. These things must never be neglected – no matter how distracted you may feel.