If something in your life is giving you anxiety or making you feel depressed, there’s a simple way to deal with your emotional distress. This technique has helped many, many people.
When you have an issue going on, you need to remember a time when things were actually worse. It’s not hard to do, but it can bring up some difficult memories. The good news is that your past pains can help you get through what you are dealing with now.
Think of another time when you were struggling. The struggle may have been over a different issue, but the emotional toll was similar.
Look at the costs of what you went through before — whether emotional or financial, or in terms of your time and energy, these costs all added up. If you have lived through other hard times, then you can and will live through this one. If the issue is only about money, be grateful because you can make it back. Health is a whole other dynamic, so be grateful for problems of prosperity.
Your emotions can be flying all over the place when things get difficult or go insanely wrong, and that is where you need to start. By finding a place to put your emotions that has some familiarity to it, and a sense of a successful outcome, then you have more control and will begin to feel better.
But you have to make the choice to keep the negative emotions from getting you down or at least fight to prevent them from doing more damage.
Life is difficult, and problems happen way too often. That’s why you must learn to gather and harness your emotional fortitude. Learn to tell yourself in a positive way that you have gotten through many other difficulties. Some may have worked out better than you expected; some may not have. But in every case, you got through them and now are on the other side. Tell yourself that soon you will be on the other side of this issue too.
Knowledge is power, and knowing you can beat this thing because you have before is very empowering. It is a way of keeping life in perspective and putting to use what you have learned from the past. This can work for physical issues as well as emotional ones.
Humans have an incredible ability to adapt to new situations. In fact, we are often so quick to adapt that we don’t even notice ourselves doing it. You have and are adapting to your life all the time. Because change is the only constant in the universe, it is wise to get as comfortable as possible with it.
You will get through this difficulty like you have the others. Hard times can leave battle scars, but they also leave you with the strength of experience. That is worth more than gold, because if you remember that you did it before, you can do it again.
Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D., is an award-winning therapist and humanitarian. He is also a columnist, the author of seven books, and a blogger for PsychologyToday.com with nearly 27 million readers. He practices in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles and is available for video sessions. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears Sundays and Tuesdays in the News-Press.