3 Steps for Managing Your Emotions During Difficult Challenges
Sometimes life gets hard. We face not just the everyday stress, but something big and unpredictable happens. That something big could be a hurricane, a sudden medical emergency, a relationship in crisis or something else. Your world is rocked. Life gets tense and confusing. How can you make it through without feeling like you are losing your mind?
Challenges bring out the best in people and the worst in people. I am sharing today three steps to take so you can make it through without completely breaking down or being out of integrity with who you are.
Recently, the people of Texas have experienced dramatic flooding as a result of the hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. I have been both elated at how people come together to help and support and completely stunned by some bitter finger pointing and blaming. It is a demonstration that a stressful situation reveals who people really are. People who were already generous and giving, stepped up to be even more generous and giving. People who were normally negative and petty became even more negative and petty.
“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.” Ralph Waldo EmersonClick to tweet
As hard as it is to go through your own personal challenge, it is also difficult to know what to do when someone you love or care about is going through a crisis.
If you are not the person suffering, but someone you love is suffering, know that you cannot help if you get right down into the emotion and helplessness that they may be feeling. Look for ways to be helpful, but not in the way. Look for ways to offer support without pretending that you know what they are experiencing. Sometimes just being by someone’s side or giving some economic or logistical relief is the best way to help. Be sure to ask how you can help. Some people want to be surrounded by supportive and loving people, and others want time alone to process. Respect this.
A few weeks ago, a close friend’s daughter had two emergency brain surgeries over ten days. (Thankfully she is home now). It was completely unexpected. My friend is very independent and private. I respected that and found ways to be helpful that lined up with her wishes. I was scared and concerned. I coped with my own feelings of helplessness through prayer, writing in my journal, and spending time with our mutual friends. We went to the hospital when we were invited. Take your cues from your people.
If you are the person who is facing a crisis,
- Allow yourself to be human. No one is perfect or made of iron. It’s okay to cry, to be mad, to feel whatever comes your way.
- After you let yourself process, think about how you want to be in this experience. For example, when I was in ICU two years ago fighting for my life, I first felt happy I was alive, then scared that something was really wrong, then afraid I would die in my sleep. Finally, when I stopped asking why me, I landed on this… I wanted to be in my life. I wanted to live life fully no matter how much time I had. And I believed in the power of healing and the power of thoughts. I knew that my thoughts could change my body chemistry and my outcomes. No matter what you are going through, this is your life. You may not have chosen your crisis, but you get to choose your response.
- Then focus on the solution. What’s the solution? What is the best path to take right now with all of the information you have including your own intuitive thoughts that are coming through? Set an intention for your ideal outcome, even if it feels impossible right now. Choose where you will place your focus and your thoughts.
You can get support from other people, too. Find people who are willing to listen, trouble shoot, brainstorm, research, offer resources, and more. Ask for what you need and want. You are not alone in whatever you are facing. There are people who want to help.
These steps of allowing and processing, choosing your response and focusing on the solution will help give you peace of mind and you will then be able to act on your behalf rather than be trapped by inaction.
If you liked this, you will love my article 7 Step to Master Your Mindset
Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D.
Coach, Trainer, and Author, Dr. Sheri Kaye Hoff, Ph.D. is a Business and Life Coach known for inspiring massive action and a catalyst for personal and business growth, joy, and profits in a way that is fun, relaxing, and fulfilling, Sheri inspires people to the do work they love and make more money. Sheri helps business owners and professionals to relax into success. She uses both spiritual and practical techniques to obliterate blocks and create dramatic change. She is a business, leadership, happiness, and inner game expert. She has overcome nearly dying, and the loss of her brother at an early age. She has made it her lifetime mission to discover the keys to happiness and success and then share them with her clients and community.