No one is immune to distressing events. Whether it’s a global emergency, political politics, or a job performance report, stress can wreak havoc on your personal and professional life. Without control, the mind will run amok and become the culprit of obsession and unwanted reactions. Taking the time to reflect intentionally will help uncover deeper layers of understanding of the situation, your personal connection to it, and the action you have the capacity to take. More importantly, reflection gives you the ability to direct the symphony of your thoughts and clarifies the actions you are best able to take. This clarity will bring more calm and emotional solidity to your life, even when things are difficult. Here are some tips for dealing with difficult events. I encourage you to use this article. To bring these solutions to life, you must commit to applying the following content. Knowledge is power only when it is actively used.
Before you can act effectively in the world, it is important to look within and identify the specific emotions you are feeling that relate to what is happening in your environment. Don’t ignore your feelings, listen to them, work on your emotions and use them as a tool in redirecting the energy behind them in a more fruitful direction.
The questions you can ask yourself are:
- What emotions am I feeling? You may find that there are some of the most obvious hidden emotions.
- What is the basic need behind the emotions I feel? Emotions are indicators that translate into tangible desires. Some needs are basic survival needs, such as security. Other needs that go beyond survival can be things like recognition for your work or your contribution to making a difference.
- What is this emotion useful for and how can I use it? Emotions can be used to take positive action once you have mastered them. It could be that emotion is what motivates you or that emotion provides empathy.
The next step is to assess how you want to react and choose your course of action. It is always the gray area of uncertainty that causes the most stress. One of the most valuable tools for combating overwhelming emotions is identifying what you have the power to change and what is beyond your power. Once you have clarified this, you can let go of what you don’t have the power to change and act on what you can change. Having a plan of action releases anxiety and stress and can help break the negative loop in your head. Reinhold Niebuhr said it best: “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Many people get stuck due to overload. They struggle to sort things out and end up doing nothing at all or taking action based on outsized emotions. They may choose actions that don’t result in the best solution, or their efforts may fizzle out as their emotions subside. The goal is to create a sustainable effort. This will allow you to reap the emotional benefits of accomplishment and allow you to have a greater impact.
No matter the type of event, your power lies in changing your thought patterns to direct them towards a positive impact and allow you to release what is not yours. It takes practice. Repetition is essential when creating new neural pathways. Your typical tendencies are pathways etched into your brain, similar to a ski slope that has been used over and over again. It is easy and natural to follow the established path. Getting out of the way is difficult, and in the beginning it is especially difficult to make a new path. After taking a new route for a while, a new path begins to form. Eventually, you can take this new path with ease. This is exactly what happens in your brain when you practice a new thought pattern or behavior. New grooves are created and soon the once unknown way to become the norm.
TIPS FOR SOCIETAL CHALLENGES
National and global issues are complex and many causes require support. There is no way to solve all the problems in the world. Choose one to three causes that matter most to you. Know your abilities and use your unique gifts to be part of the solution. Then trust that other people will step in to cover the areas you can’t cover. Making a difference can take many forms. You may ask yourself:
- Who is concerned ? What do they need? It’s best not to assume what people need and ask the community, or those who support it, how you can best help.
- What organizations or people are already helping and how can I support them?
- What resources do I have that can help? (temporary accommodation, clothing, money, etc.)
- What specific skills do I have to help remotely? (fundraising, emotional support, social media outreach, etc.)
- Are there any practical ways I can help? (buildings, kitchen, health care, etc.)
- Who are the key influencers who can bring change to the current event and influence policy or relief in the future? (government, legal, community, etc.) How can I support them?
Remember, don’t overwhelm yourself by taking on too much. Stick to what you do well and what you enjoy doing. Otherwise, your good intentions can have detrimental effects on your mental health and end up weighing down the case.
TIPS FOR PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL CHALLENGES
When it comes to personal and professional challenges, a much deeper personalization occurs. This requires thought and greater sensitivity on the part of all parties involved, including yourself. Before reacting, pause to assess the situation and clarify your approach. Start by acknowledging any mistakes you may have made. Admitting mistakes and making the appropriate corrections shows courage and strength of character. Responsibility gives you the opportunity to grow and improve. Numerous studies have shown that the benefits of taking ownership of mistakes outweigh the consequences. Sure. assess the right course of action for your specific situation.
Then, you have to wrap up the parties involved. See if you can identify the needs of the other person or parties and what their communication style might be. You can think of other ways to deal with the situation and the potential results. It can also be helpful to discuss the different approaches with a few people you trust.
After thinking about and reviewing your options, you can make a responsible choice about how you want to deal with the situation. When you take this approach, you will most likely take the best course of action. Even if the results you wanted don’t materialize, with this tactic you will be prepared for a less favorable outcome. Rather than feeling like a victim, you will feel empowered.
Practicing responsibility is courageous and places the power to shape your path in your hands. Remember that you can only do what is under your control. The other party or parties also play a role in being responsible for their actions in the situation. It is not your responsibility to assume unreasonable reactions. In fact, if you do, you are doing others a disservice by not allowing them to grow. Knowing what belongs to you and what does not belong to you is important for all parties involved.
Being part of the solution, no matter how small, is both important and worthwhile. Every action creates momentum, just like every drop of water creates a headline wave. An added benefit of taking action is that it allows your mind to let go, leaving you feeling comfortable and uplifted because you are part of the solution.