So many wellness blogs talk about coping with minor, inconsequential ups and downs in life. They discuss things like dealing with a colleague talking about you behind your back or somebody on a dating app failing to text you back. In life, though, sometimes, the worst really does happen. And what’s more, we don’t receive much training on how to deal with it. Coping with stress, especially when if feels like everything is piling up, is hard. Many of us take the view that we have to stick it out or “suck it up.” (Guilty!) But are there better ways of coping?
Unfortunate events can take all sorts of forms. You could lose your job because of a global pandemic. You could lose your home in a flash flood. Somebody you love could die. All these things can leave a lasting impact.
Coping with stress when the worst happens is something we all need to prepare for. Because eventually, something will go wrong, and your emotional and physical survival depends on how you deal with it.
Embrace The Darkness
Philosophers have wondered how to deal with life’s infinite challenges since the dawn of civilization. The ancients would be horrified if they saw today’s positivity movement. They’d see it as inauthentic jollying of the soul rather than a genuine strategy to improve one’s feelings.
Instead, many of the greatest minds throughout history have instructed their followers to embrace the darkness. The real world is a scary and dangerous place. And it seems utterly irredeemable. There’s nothing humanity can do, for instance, to prevent the heat death of the universe. It is just going to happen. And it is something we must all deal with ultimately, even if civilization continues for billions of years into the future.
Prepare For It In Advance
Preparing for the worst is another excellent strategy that makes it more manageable once it finally arrives. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, get your home and business insured. If you know that somebody is going to die, start the morning process now.
Preparing in advance for the worst life has to throw at you makes things much better when the problems finally arrive. You don’t want to go into these situations unprepared. Just think how much better people who invested in generators fared in hurricane Sandy. They had light and heat when many others didn’t.
Realize That Everyone Goes Through The Same Darkness
Other people might seem jolly as they go about their daily business. But you should always remember that they have to battle the same demons as you. Millions of other people have been through heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. Over time, they have all found ways to cope and carry on living with gusto and intentionality. Life might seem bleak sometimes, but rebelling against the darkness has a joy of its own.
Sometimes bad things happen, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Other times, though, they are a consequence of your actions.
Learning lessons in life is essential. It means that you don’t get trapped in the same situations twice.
Let’s say that a river near your home tends to flood. The first time it happens, it catches you off guard, and you wind up having to repair the entire downstairs floor of your property. The second time it happens, though, you’re prepared with sandbags and other things to stop the water from coming in.
Focus On What You Can Control
Sometimes, bad things in life happen, and you have no control over them. People die. It’s just the nature of the world in which we live. But it can make you feel helpless and powerless. Reminding yourself of what you can control, however, shows you the possibilities open to you.
Let’s say your spouse betrayed you by sleeping with other people and stealing your money. Okay – that’s terrible. But it also opens up possibilities to get into a relationship with somebody else more worthy. Suddenly, you have a heady sense of freedom you never had before. And the world appears open to you once more. You still feel sad about what happened, but you can’t change that. All you can do is move forward with your life and seek out happiness where you can.
Life can sometimes throw the odd curve-ball at you. But that doesn’t mean that you have to give up on living. Coping with stress is something we should all be preparing for emotionally and practically right now. There’s no point trying to put it off. Eventually, something is going to go wrong.