Adverse situations in life will happen despite all the precautions and safeguards we put in place, in an attempt to prevent or at best avoid their effects. Some of these are self-inflicted, either by our actions or lack of action. Some are outside our ability to control and happen despite our best efforts. Some are caused by others and could easily have been avoided. Once the situation has arisen it is too late to change it, so we must concentrate on the two things we CAN control – how we react to these situations and how we control our emotional responses.
Adverse situations often instil emotional responses from us, ranging from despair to rage. This is perfectly natural and which ever happens will depend on your personality and your current mental state. You need to focus on your reaction, however, and consider how the initial reaction will affect those around you. Once the initial reaction subsides, how we deal with things next is where we can make our lives and lives of those around us easier. Controlling your emotions and your reactions is never an easy task, but it can help if you accept that these situations WILL arise at some point, and it’s you that makes the difference.
Here is a short list of helpful tips to assist you in dealing with adverse situations and help you to control or adjust your emotional responses:
Take a minute
Breathe. Take a moment to compose yourself before rushing straight into a solution or going on the attack. Use this time to detach yourself and look at the problem from the outside, objectively (devoid of emotion).
Avoid the blame game
It is very easy to resort to trying to find someone to blame for the issue, even if the situation was nobody’s fault e.g. a freak storm blew the roof off the shed onto the car. In this example you might yell at the person who parked the car in that location. This is non-productive and will only result in an unnecessary emotional response.
Focus on the solution
The most problematic concern people make when faced with an adverse situation, is ruminating over the situation itself. All this tends to do is make the problem bigger and prolong the emotional response until it can get out of hand. It is important to move on to dealing with the situation by making a plan as soon as you as you are able to think rationally, and problem-solve.
Once you have your plan, then it is important to follow it through. Make the change, talk to the person, fix the problem, etc. The plan may be dynamic and need to be tweaked as you go, so stay on task.
Find a healthy outlet
It is important to release emotions in a healthy way. It is not good to bottle up emotions for your physical or mental health. Keeping a journal and writing everything down is a good outlet for your emotions. Some people find it beneficial to engage in exercises such as boxing or martial arts to release their built-up frustrations. Meditation is also another alternative for discharging unhealthy emotions.
There will be times in your life where it all gets too much and the latest adverse situation can seem to be the final straw. If you ever reach this point there are many avenues where you can find someone to talk to. Sometimes a friendly ear is all that is required. Other times it may be necessary to speak to a professional such as a counsellor or a psychologist. There is no shame in asking for help when certain situations in life seem overwhelming. If you or anyone you know feels overwhelmed by a certain life situation, please get in contact with one of our friendly team. We are here for you and willing to assist you get through difficult times. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1300 796 640