One way of looking at life is that it’s a constant journey of overcoming challenges and obstacles. What is a crisis but a major challenge testing one’s boundaries and strength?
In times of crisis, it’s usually our mental and emotional strengths that are being tested. How long can we rationally keep up with the alarming state of emergency without burning out? What do we need to do to preserve our mindfulness and personality’s healthy core? How to address the problem with the growth mindset and move towards a resolution?
What Is a Crisis?
How we define a certain situation in our life makes up at least 50% of how we approach and deal with it. However, despite its many efforts, science still hasn’t come up with a unified definition for the concept of a crisis. Instead, it offers a broad perspective on what a personal crisis is most commonly related to:
- Stress and threats to personal wellbeing;
- Acute disturbances that affect physical health;
- Critical turning points in one’s life cycle;
- Normal life crisis related to every individual’s development (leaving the family home, getting married, etc);
- Pathological crises that are usually incidental and happen to an unprepared individual (wars, natural disasters, sudden deaths, epidemics, etc).
What’s common to all of the above is that the state of crisis causes a state of alertness and emergency in one’s organism and mental system, puts them in a state of prolonged stress, and initiates a set of personal coping mechanisms.
How to Stay Sane?
It’s clear that the state of crisis primarily comprises our mental health. When life puts you in front of a challenge, one of the most important questions to answer is: Is your cup half-full or half-empty?
What we mean by this is that everything is relative. Some people in the past century survived through several wars while keeping their optimism afterward, while some have a difficult time coping with criticism at work. It’s not only that individuals differ vastly from each other, but it’s also that our perception and the way we evaluate issues in life can vary depending on the context.
With this in mind, we have to underline the importance of a positive mindset, especially when it comes to managing life hardships, challenges, and crises. Contrary to common belief, a positive mindset is not about “fake” and “forced” positivity. Positive, optimistic people do cry. They get angry and hurt. They sometimes complain.
However, what a positive mindset gives you, which is crucial in tough times, is a positive attitude and outlook on the given situation and life in general. The essential belief that you’re not predestined to suffer and struggle, but that every hardship has an end and it holds a valuable lesson to be learned and opportunity to grow.
This core belief that this life is, in fact, good–with occasional challenges that need to be overcome–provides us with deep spiritual strength. No matter how hard life gets, there’s always something to be grateful for.
You’re desperate about losing your job, which is understandable, but why did this happen? What did you learn from this experience? What other opportunities are out there now that were unavailable to you before?
A loving relationship has ended–one of the most painful events in human life. But it can also mean it’s time to discover the “new you” or rediscover the “old you”. Is this an opportunity for building new resilience, getting a better understanding of yourself and your values?
Gratitude and positivity bring us closer to self-development and personal growth, they make it easier to maintain the healthy, optimistic core of our personality, while complaining and drowning in negativity keeps us in a fixed position in which nothing changes.
We’re not saying “it’s all in your head”, on the contrary, the struggle is real, but what we are saying is that you’re in control. You can get tougher than the tough times, and, sometimes, all you need is a little bit of support.
Support is found in friends, family, but also in expanding your knowledge and your ability to deal with difficult life situations by educating yourself and searching for a solution.
Keep in mind that you’re never alone. There’s no life on this planet that’s been intact by a crisis. Everything that has happened to you has happened to someone else as well, and there’s an eternal beauty in how similar, yet how completely different in that similarity we all are.
To remind you that you can and that you should be proud of everything you’re and everything you’ve done so far, we’ve prepared an illustration book named Life is Right Now. It’s practically a tool for inspiration and positivity you can use whenever you feel blue, and it can always be by your side to remind you that you’re doing the best you can, and, as long as you keep trying, you will get through any difficulties.
You can also turn to gratitude journaling and take full advantage of The Five Minute Journal and the 5 Minute Journal App (available for free) to maintain a positive outlook on life. Also, never underestimate the power of healthy grounding routines, especially in the morning and evening, as they provide us with a sense of control and structure when we need them the most.
Life is neither designed for suffering nor for eternal, never-ending joy. Life is not black and white, it is what you make out of it. The only way to move through hardship is to accept the situation and your emotions and grow through them, instead of piling them under the rug and making things more difficult. Every challenge is a new opportunity for growth and strength.