We always have the choice to maintain a calm, emotional state or allow ourselves to become rattled.
Whether it’s a relationship conflict, a health setback, traffic jam, or a lost job, those same two possibilities exist.
Which do you routinely choose?
Well, the human brain does have a negativity bias so don’t beat yourself up if you typically go negative. Do know this can definitely be changed.
What’s the key to maintaining your composure as much as possible?
How do you intercept the suffering and keep yourself objective and positive in a way that allows us to find the gift or opportunity in each challenge?
Life transitions, normal daily challenges and crazy chaos are all different types of hurdles, but each presents a chance to turn obstacles into opportunities.
It’s all about learning to intercept the suffering with mental fitness skills. Carefully choose your thoughts, mindset, and emotional response in every situation.
Try these tips in the midst of difficult challenges.
1) Be Defiant :
On some level composure is the result of defiance. It’s the refusal to allow a situation to knock you off center or intimidate you.
We have two distinct parts of our brain The Sage and the Saboteur. Ultimately, we want to choose to stay in our Sage brain to greatly reduce suffering.
2) Take responsibility: Something very powerful happens when you choose to take responsibility for a situation:
You have the power to change course or work through things. This is truly empowering. The result is feeling much less stress, anxiety or suffering.
3) Stay present in times of turmoil:
Keep your attention on the present moment and your current task.
Focus on what you want to have happen rather than on possible negative outcomes.
To stay present, when your mind wanders, concentrate on your breathing, or on all the good that is still available to you despite the turmoil.
Practice gratitude for the positive moments, events, and people who make you smile.
We can only think about one thing at a time. Use that fact to your advantage, and stay in the present moment.
4) Focus on Solutions:
While some people are masters at concentrating on their challenges, successful people keep their emphasis on solutions.
The more you practice the more adept you’ll become. What you focus on expands! Amplifying challenges, clouds your vision and takes you down the rabbit hole of fear, anxiety, and worry.
These limit your ability to see every option, and often the most elegant or simple solution may elude you. You’re at your best when you say poised, and positive. Self-care and support from others are of great value here.
Reach out to a friend, coach or another professional who can be objective and help you see options other than suffering.
When putting these tips into practice, it’s important to stay objective. Objectivity is the ability to see the situation accurately, without the influence of emotion or ego.
When you’re observing, you see what’s truly there. But, when you’re perceiving your vision is skewed because you’re witnessing through the lens of emotion and possibly old beliefs.
What it boils down to is this: Don’t judge the situation as good or bad – it just is. See it for what it is without emotion. It’s important to stay objective.
Practice objectivity to find more opportunities and short circuit your suffering with these tips:
Avoid quick reactions: When frightened, a dear will either freeze or run. Running is a strong instinct but not a thoughtful process.
In fact, it’s so strong that deer often flee from one threat, only to run straight into something more ominous like a busy roadway.
Reacting quickly is the result of instinct. We do it too. Your boss is infuriating so you quit. Your spouse makes a mistake and you verbally unload on them.
Reacting quickly is rarely the best option. When faced with challenges, take time to thoughtfully respond rather than react.
Objectively assess the situation before choosing an action.
Depersonalize the situation:
Obstacles seem smaller when they feel less personal. What advice would you give a friend? It’s easier to depersonalize a situation when we take our ego and our emotions out of it.
Although we should always try, being objective at all times takes practice. We are all products of our past, erroneous thinking, and limiting beliefs, unless we’ve done the work to create better choices on a daily basis.
The ability to see the truth lays the groundwork for overcoming obstacles, finding opportunities and squashing suffering.
Above all, your mindset matters. When we believe we have options and opportunities, we absolutely do! When we believe we don’t, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As Christopher Reeve said, “a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Turn your obstacles and opportunities, and be your own hero.
Suffering is optional! I invite you to sign up for my upcoming course on PQ (stands for Positive Intelligence Quotient). It’s all about learning how to choose thoughts and actions that help you stay positive and reduce suffering in daily life and challenging situations. How often is your brain serving you versus sabotaging you?
Come join me and get into your Sage brain on a daily basis so you stop the suffering!
About the Author
Linda Mitchell, a Professional Transformational Coach, is the founder of Linda Mitchell Coaching and Healing. She has been coaching and practicing in the healing arts for over 20 years, operating from a deep desire to empower people to move through life’s many challenges and transitions with ease and grace. Her unique “Reinvention Program” helps people reclaim balance, and better health and gain clarity on their next steps in order to define, create and truly live the life they desire.