Let’s face it, we are all handed situations that are less than desirable and as much as we would like to avoid them, it’s inevitable that we are going to be served with a big fat bag of lemons.
Our initial reaction may be to grab those lemons and throw them at the nearest wall or perhaps grab some tequila and salt but the truth is the only thing that’s going to make the situation better is to turn those lemons into lemonade.
What do I mean by that exactly?
Here are 9 ways to turn those sour situations into more juicy and palatable ones.
1) Feel what you’re feeling
When an ‘ugly’ emotion start to creep up on us we tend to shove it back down and pile on top of it with sugar coated things (alcohol, food, avoidance) to make us feel better but in reality we aren’t doing ourselves any favours but rather prolonging the situation. You can’t move on from the situation until you allow yourself to feel those unpleasant feelings.
2) Get some perspective
How bad is the situation really? Is this going to impact your life in a huge way or is just an unpleasant situation? An effective question I like to ask myself when I am having a hard time is ‘Is this going to matter in 6 months time?’ If it won’t, then try to move on.
3) Don’t play the victim
The easiest thing to do when something bad happens is to play the victim and look at the situation as something that has happened to us instead of being honest with ourselves and seeing what part we played in creating the sticky mess. As they say it takes two to tango and more often than not we are responsible for at least part of it.
4) Learn the lesson
Whilst it’s never nice dealing with an awkward or unpleasant situation we can make things a lot easier on ourselves if we look for the lesson it. I find that things show up in my life for a reason and if there is a reoccurrence it’s because I haven’t yet learnt the lesson to prevent it from happening again.
5) Focus on the positive
It is physically impossible to feel happy and sad at the same time so by concentrating on the positive things in your life you are automatically removing the option to feel down about the situation. What is going well in your life? What makes you feel good and happy? Focus on and do more of these things.
6) Don’t ruminate incessantly
If anyone knows this one best, it’s me. Chewing over the issue constantly is not the way to go. Yes it is ok to reflect on the situation to see how things could have been handled differently but obsessing over the details and replaying words verbatim is unhealthy and will keep you feeling stuck and unable to move forward.
7) Don’t talk about the situation incessantly
Similar to the above, don’t talk to anyone and everyone about it. As they say, what you focus on grows in your life. Talking about things can be therapeutic but there is a difference between constructively reflecting on a situation and continuously laboring over it.
8) Spend time with happy people
Nothing beats spending quality time with a good friend. Take your mind off the situation by surrounding yourself with happy people who will lift your spirit, give you a good laugh and remind you that even amidst some chaos life is good.
9) Speak your truth
Do you have any effective tactics to add to this list? I’d love to hear them in the comments section below.