How To Turn Things Around When You Have Been Knocked Down By Life
We all go through periods where it seems like we just experience one bad thing after another. In these moments, the world can seem like a cruel place, and it can feel like there’s nothing you can do to make things go right.
The secret to getting back on track is learning how to deal with this type of situation in new, more effective ways. Although it’s tempting to see yourself as a victim, act out feelings of anger, wallow in self-loathing or give up on your goals, the best thing you can do is figure out how to keep fighting.
Here are 9 tips that will help you turn things around when you’ve been knocked down by life…
1. Vent Your Frustration
While it’s not healthy to nurse anger and keep it alive, nor is it healthy to keep all your frustration inside and just try to fake a smile. This tactic almost always leads to a sudden self-destructive implosion or relationship-damaging explosion.
Instead, find a way to release that anger. Talk to a supportive friend, plan a serious workout, write in a journal, or express yourself creatively (e.g. through music or painting).
2. Remember You Are Not Alone
Even if there’s no one nearby who seems to be having the same experiences, rest assured there are people all over the world who are going through situations very similar to yours.
They are entertaining the same thoughts, struggling with the same worries, and wondering what to do next. Recognizing that you’re not the only one who has been knocked down can help you avoid seeing yourself as a helpless victim.
3. Consider What Is Productive
Screaming and shouting won’t make your problem go away—it will still be there, whether you’re losing your cool or thinking about things with a calm, rational mindset. In the former case, being so worked up with stop you from gaining the perspective required to make good decisions.
Being calm, however, will help you see what you need to do to get out of the current mess, so do what you need to do to get into that mindset (whether it’s meditation, more venting, or taking a few days to spend time away from your usual environment).
4. Focus On Your Autonomy
No matter how your life’s narrative unfolds, you always have a choice when it comes how you react. You can’t control the actions of others or the many complex chains of cause and effect in the world, but you can control your own behaviors—and therein lies your power!
You can face absolutely anything that happens to you, if you make the choice not to let them destroy you and to find a way to make things better.
5. Objectify The Situation
Make a careful effort to extract your feelings from your view of the current circumstances—this will help you gain a much more objective perspective, which helps you generate solutions (and often reveals that an unpleasant new development isn’t the end of the world after all!).
Remember that the world isn’t actually trying to hurt you, and that it can also help you heal if you let it.
6. Take Action Immediately
Sure, you might not have a comprehensive plan for how you want to proceed, but you’ll feel amazingly empowered if you take even just one small step towards problem-solving.
Taking action takes you out of the passive position and also opens up new possibilities you might not have noticed before.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If you need someone’s assistance to make life easier at the moment, reach out and ask for it. There are all kinds of people waiting to help you, from family members to good friends, support groups and therapists.
There’s no shame in using your support network to help you get back on your feet, and in fact doing so is arguably necessary for long-term resilience.
Whatever has knocked you down is just a temporary obstacle, and it is likely something that will lead to personal growth. It might not be obvious now, but it’s true that everything happens for a reason.
In retrospect, you might come to see that overcoming this particular obstacle was a key part of working towards your biggest goals. If you keep ploughing through challenges, you will eventually get what you want.
9. Find A Lesson And Learn It
Every difficult or painful situation you encounter has something to teach you. Whether it’s a small practical lesson (such as how to take better care of certain objects you don’t want to lose) or a massive psychological lesson (such as how to make yourself emotionally vulnerable to another person), this new knowledge is bound to improve your life going forward.