I want you to know that it’s okay to cry. I find it quite therapeutic actually. And although I am a (mostly) happy person, I am human and emotional and fragile – just like you.
I am remembering a very emotional week where I found myself crying one day after work. There was a lot going on that week.
- I was planning a rather large party for my mom’s retirement.
- I was doing double duty at work because a co-worker was out.
- My to-do list seemed completely unmanageable.
- Overall, I was feeling overwhelmed.
That particular day, I learned that someone I knew, who had been battling cancer for over a year, had finally agreed to hospice care.
I was overwhelmed with emotions. I felt for her sister who was trying to remain strong and positive for so long.
I thought of my own sister and how devastated I would be – and realized how she must feel.
A few days later I learned that the son of someone close to my brother passed away. He called me and asked me what he could do for his friend. I told him to make sure his friend knows that he is there for him if he needs him and let him grieve.
My heart broke for this man who will have to bury his son and even for my brother who felt unqualified to provide comfort.
How could anyone remain positive during such heartache?
We have all experienced loss, haven’t we? It is a hurt I would never wish upon anyone. It requires time to heal and to recover.
But, not all difficult times are made up of loss and heartache. Although, I admit that I felt rather foolish crying over my stressful week knowing there are millions having worse days than mine.
I believe, wholeheartedly, that regardless of our situations, we still have an opportunity to remain positive.
4 Ways To Stay Positive During Difficult Times
1. Practice Gratitude Daily
Despite the challenges I have faced in life, I know I am lucky. I make it a practice to give Thanks every day for the many blessings in my life.
When I am having a bad day, I think about how blessed I am and it helps me to maintain my positive outlook.
One can not be grateful and negative at the same time. It’s just not possible.
So, commit to offering Thanks daily and despite your hardships you will find blessings.
2. Focus On Helping Others
I was having a conversation earlier with someone about the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-steps program. One thing he mentioned was that helping someone go through the steps (I assume that he means sponsoring someone) helps you stay sober.
Wow! I never would have put that together.
But, it’s true and it works in this situation too. When you are having a difficult time or a bad day, helping someone else will help lift your mood.
I know that whenever I help someone I feel really good about myself and my thoughts become more positive and uplifting.
3. Surround Yourself With Laughter
I lost my dog, Buca, a few years ago. She was my baby, my first dog as an adult and we had been through many, many difficult times together. She was a very special dog and I was really devastated when I had to say goodbye to her.
I was grieving and grieving takes time, even for your pets. That week I watched as many funny movies as I could find and spent more time than I can admit publicly searching Pinterest for funny pictures and jokes.
I was still grieving but laughing helped me recover a little bit faster. I will never forget Buca. I still tear up when I watch that video of her or when I pull out the Christmas stockings, but I know she would rather see me laughing.
4. Write It Out or Talk It Out
Not too long ago, I was going through some old boxes and found my journal from high school. If you’ve survived being a teenager, you understand how challenging that time is in a young person’s life.
I wrote to the Journal like a friend. I even gave “her” a name. I wrote about EVERYTHING that was wrong in my life.
I needed to let it all out. Get it off my chest. Unload to a friend.
Just today, I met my friend at the park for an hour “walk & talk”. I love our walking dates because we get to vent. But we also celebrate the good in our lives and have lots of laughs. I always leave our walks feeling great!
Is it possible to stay positive during difficult times?
I think it is. Actually, I know it is.
Maybe not in every moment, but if we make it a priority, we can remain positive and spread that positivity to others.