Bad things happen. They happen a lot. Sometimes life just sucks. We get sick. We lose our jobs. We trust the wrong people. Our cars die on us. Our loved ones let us down. I could go on and on. These things happen all the time. When we are in the midst of these struggles the last thing we are feeling or thinking about is Joy.
One thing that helps me the most during those times when things just suck is to really focus on the things that I CAN control. The feeling of helplessness that comes along when these sucky things happen only add to our negative feelings. Taking the time to concentrate on those things that are within our control helps us to feel less helpless.
When those unfortunate times, when life just sucks, arise I work really hard to focus on the following areas that are within my control.
- What I eat. Sometimes I have chosen to have comfort foods that might not have been healthy but have been comforting. I’m trying to work on choosing to eat things that make me healthier as that is equally my choice. A glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage is often a good choice too in moderation. The idea is to be conscious of the fact that what goes in your mouth is something that you have a lot if not complete control over.
- What I do with my body. To exercise or not exercise. It may sound weird but I kind of understand why men in prison exercise a lot. Besides the obvious self protective reasons, it is something they have control over in an extremely controlled environment. They can’t come and go as they please but they can do as many sit-ups and pushups as they want. Also accomplishing a fitness goal is also a nice mood enhancer.
- Who I talk to. Often when sucky things happen we need someone to vent to. That person can be a friend, therapist, spiritual advisor, or anyone else you trust. But you don’t have to tell everyone everything that is going on with you. You can reveal info on a need to know basis to those who need to know.
- Laughter. This one is not so obvious, but we have a lot of control over what we laugh at. Especially in the day of the internet a good laugh is only a few keystrokes away. All of our senses of humor are different. You know what you find funny. Whether or not you make time to humor yourself is definitely within your control.
- My environment. You may not be able to control everything about your environment but you can control the cleanliness of it. You can add little things to it that make you smile.
These are just a few things to focus on when life turns sucky. Which of the above areas do you tend to focus on when life just sucks???