In life, things can fall apart. You can face issues with debt, illness, family problems, work problems…
No matter what it is, it’s easy to feel hopeless and lost (sometimes even choiceless) when these things happen. We feel alone.
Ever felt this way?
Recently, I felt like that. I felt like everything was crashing.
A dear friend was diagnosed with cancer and we were all down about it. Fortunately, things did get better, but those early moments were quite scary and devastating for a lot of us. It started with a huge ache in my heart, which then turned into a deep dark sadness all over my body.
I couldn’t shake it off. I felt like a piece of paper being torn into shreds.
I managed to pull myself together though. Here are the 4 things that really helped me release all my anguish and get positive, and I hope it will help you too, if you ever feel down in the dumps and need to find a way to stay positive – either for your own self or for someone else.
Step 1: Allow it
There is no point trying to play the role of being “the strongest person in the world”. When you feel the need to be strong and hold on to everything, then all the more reason you should just let go. Let your true feelings come through. Don’t hold it in.
For me, having a good cry is best. But if you’re not a crier, then maybe you might want to try screaming out loud. If you don’t want to scare your neighbours, scream into a pillow or take a long drive and have a good scream in your car. 🙂
Truth is – it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you express the frustration, sadness or anguish that you feel and get it out of your system.
But here’s the trick. It’s important that you put a time limit on this. You cannot be crying, screaming and throwing a tantrum all day. It’s not the “sane” thing to do and will definitely backfire on you.
If you have to let it out, allow yourself 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour – anything, as long as you know when to stop.
Step 2: Sleep
I recently read this quote and I cannot agree more:
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” Mahatma Gandhi
I find that no matter how hopeless I feel, a good night’s sleep always makes my problem seem smaller the day after. Now I know it may be hard to even fall asleep in the first place, so this is why you have to be strict with yourself. Try to get to back early, no visual stimulation before, have a glass or warm milk or a nice red wine… ease yourself to bed and try to get a good shut eye.
No tossing and turning thinking about your problems. Let it go, and drift away…
If you still can’t sleep, then Step 3 could help.
Step 3: Go out and seek the Masters
Most of our time we worry a lot about things that are not “real”. The power of our anguish is based on the nature of our thoughts.
It is very difficult for any regular person to live fully in the present. Our mind is always bouncing between things that happened in the past and things that may happen in the future.
We cannot help ourselves from simply just “worrying”. Most of the time though, we worry about things that are outside our control (and really, everything in life is outside our control).
To help you learn how to let go, you need to visit the “Masters”. I call them the “Masters” because these are always “in the moment” and taking this time out can be a very spiritual experience.
There is no past or present, just the “now”. Doing the things below could help remind you of this.
1. Spend time with kids. Kids have this amazing “present” essence plus they get amused by the simplest things. A great way to reconnect with life and remember what’s really important can happen when you spend time around kids.
2. If you don’t have kids, then spend time with animals. Especially dogs. Dogs know when we are down and will always try to make us feel better. Don’t like dogs? Then cats. Birds, fishes. Any animal that makes you feel calm can help put things into perspective.
3. If none of these above work for you, spend time in nature. Nature nurtures us, help us connect with our deeper self and recharges us. A nice walk in a park could do wonders. Want to add a twist? Take off your shoes and feel the grass beneath your feet. Connect!
Step 4: Carry on
Once you’ve done the above three and you feel slightly better, pull yourself together and face your problems. You will be in better shape to do that now after the above.
And always remember this – you are not alone. Share your problems with someone and you’ll be surprised how someone will be ready to help.
Don’t have anyone to talk to? Well, know that you’re still not alone and many people also feel that way (alone, that is). Perhaps reach out to help someone whom you know may also need it, and that could make you feel better too.
“Every event in life can be causing only one of two things. Either it is good for you, or it’s bringing up what you need to look at in order to create good for you.” Deepak Chopra
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