Whether it’s heartbreak, loss, or unwanted change, difficult situations often evoke feelings of anxiety, fear, and sadness. While it’s important to own and honor these very natural responses to challenging times in your life, these periods are also an opportunity for growth.
In fact, growth can very often be stimulated by difficulty, and the learning and expansion that occurs during challenging times can get you to a new place - one that you likely could not have imagined while moving through the rough time. This is not because of the loss or heartbreak you experience, but because of how you choose to overcome it. Its about all the steps you take, or don’t take.
If you are struggling with a difficult situation, such as the loss of a loved one, break-up, divorce, or job loss, here are four coping mechanisms that will help get you to a new, and likely, better place.
Maintain a Growth Mindset
Having a growth mindset means believing that anything is possible, and that happiness is always a choice. While your early childhood experiences might impact the ease at which you can maintain a growth mindset, typically those who thrive in environments where change, challenge, and development are commonplace have this type of perspective. If you have recently gone through a break-up, this might mean noticing the lessons, perhaps after the initial experience of heartache, that came out of your former relationship and viewing them as an opportunity for an even better relationship in the future. Perhaps you see the extra time you now have as an opportunity to explore a new hobby or interest. Practice choosing a growth mindset with positive affirmations, and looking for the potential alongside every challenge.
Focus on the Lessons
Just like choosing a growth mindset, choosing to focus on the lessons and opportunities to better yourself while going through any difficulty is essential to healing. For instance, if you are struggling with the insurmountable grief of losing a loved one, you might see the situation as a reminder that life is fragile and fleeting, which could motivate you to make overdue changes to your own life. Focusing on the lessons following a break up might mean reflecting on the situation to learn more about yourself, your needs, your relationship roadblocks, and your relationship requirements, so you can better communicate and find fulfillment in your next relationship.
Let it Fuel You
Difficult situations can break you down, and result in exhaustion, grief, and a feeling of overwhelm. Instead of letting this outcome be the result of difficult periods in your life, allow challenges to fuel you. Force yourself to look at the glass half-full. For instance, if you’ve lost your job, consider whether this might be the opportunity for a shift in your career to something more aligned with your passions, interests, and ideal work-life balance. Consider welcoming the change rather than resisting it and the associated emotions. Instead of spinning up a story rooted in self-doubt, let unwanted change be a catalyst for the positive change you desire.
While journaling, online groups, and friends can provide the support you need to some degree, working with a therapist during a time of difficulty can help accelerate your healing. Our team in Denver, Colorado can help you see the growth that is possible in times of challenge and provide tools to help you cope and grow through difficulty. We start with a free consultation with a team member to learn more about your unique situation and share how we can help. Contact us to schedule yours today.