7 Simple Ways to Thrive in Tough Times

A guest post by Henri Junttila of Wake Up Cloud.

We all go through tough times that frustrate, anger, and depress us. Some people seem to cope with these times better than others. Why is that?

I’ve worked for myself my whole adult life, which has allowed me to get very good at dealing with challenges, overwhelm, and the other obstacles we all bump into over and over again.

Now, I still go through these periods, and I still feel bad. But by using the seven ways below on getting through tough times, I have learned to significantly reduce the amount of time that I spend hiding in bed with a big bowl of ice cream.

I believe that all the challenges we face are sent to us for a reason.

With all that said, let’s look at the seven ways that will help you thrive in tough times.

1. Acceptance

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.” ~George Orwell

The first is acceptance. Whenever I start feeling bad, I try to resist the feeling, which tends to make everything that much worse.

It’s not until I completely accept my situation that I can start changing it. Acceptance allows me to focus on the positive and start taking action.

It can be as simple as taking responsibility for your life. In the end, you are responsible for what happens in your life, whether you like it or not.

When I first realized this, I was able to start taking control of my life and start changing what I didn’t like. The negativity was just a way for me to learn what I didn’t want.

2. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

“Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”   ~Michael Jordan

Whenever I write down the problems that I have, it’s much easier for me to solve them and let them go.

This is especially true for writing down what the worst that could happen is. If you can accept the worst, the emotional charge of your problem will vanish.

This can be as simple as writing down your problem with the worst that could happen alongside it, much like a pro’s and con’s list.

If you don’t think you can accept the worst, you should reconsider if you really want to go down that path. Follow your heart and intuition.

3. Focus on the Positive

“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” ~Brian Tracy

I always look for the blessing in disguise in every problem I come across. I have realized that almost every problem in my life has carried a vital lesson inside it.

And those that haven’t have not yet blossomed into positivity. Give your challenges, problems, and fears time and they will surprise you.

Besides, how can I be sure that the challenges I am going through are not exactly what I need right now to become a better human being?

We cannot predict the future, at least not yet, so it’s impossible to know whether the challenges you go through today are good or bad.

4. Release Negativity

“Always turn a negative situation into a positive situation.” ~Michael Jordan

Your thoughts and stories create your reality.

The thoughts we think, and the stories we tell ourselves about the events we experience determine how we feel.

There is always a thought behind every feeling. There are some great tools out there that can help you release negativity during tough times.

Some of my favorite ones are Emotional Freedom Techniques, Sedona Method, and The Work.

They are all designed to bring peace of mind into your life. I suggest you listen to your intuition and start with one of them.

I especially like Emotional Freedom Techniques, because it costs nothing to learn, and is very easy to incorporate into your life.

5. Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

“A goal properly set is halfway reached.” ~Abraham Lincoln

I used to shun goal setting, but I have discovered that when I set proper goals, I feel more clear and inspired to take action.

When you set goals, you tell your subconscious mind where you want to go. Your subconscious then goes to work on making that happen.

If I’m going through tough times, I look at what it is that I do not want, and use that as ammunition for creating a positive and inspiring goal.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, I flip it over and think about what I do want in my life.

Effective goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This is the S.M.A.R.T criteria for goals, and is highly effective.

And remember, if you don’t set goals, you’re probably heading towards a life you don’t want.

6. Untangle Your Mind

“Happiness is not a reward – it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment – it is a result.” ~Robert Ingersoll

Talk to someone who can help. This may or may not be your friends. You may want to get in touch with a life coach or someone who knows how to deal with your specific situation.

Something that always helps me is to talk to someone who is good at listening and bringing clarity into my situation.

What’s important is that you find someone who can bring peace of mind to the situation you are going through.

I have found that working with someone else on my own problems is much more powerful than working on them on my own.

There’s something about my mind, and probably with yours too, that gets in the way when I try to solve my own problems, especially if they are deeply ingrained negative beliefs.

7. Follow Your Passion

“Follow your passion, and success will follow you.”  ~Terri Guillemets

I’ve read over and over again that the people that are the most happiest are those that follow their passion and their hearts deepest desire.

It wasn’t until I started following my passion that I was able to dramatically reduce the negativity in my life.

It almost seems like the negativity was there to nudge me in the right direction. Ask yourself what the negative moments in your life are trying to tell you.

Finding my passion has given me a sense of purpose in life, which in turn has made me more resilient to setbacks, obstacles, and fears.

We all have something that we are passionate and excited about. You are on this planet for a reason. You have something to contribute to the world. It’s your job to find your purpose and make the world a better place.

Whenever you’re going through tough times, know that it is for a reason, and the only thing you have to do is find the reason why.

Henri writes at Wake Up Cloud, where you can get his free course: Find Your Passion in 5 Days or Less. And if you liked this article, you will enjoy one of his top articles: 33 Powerful Ways of Overcoming Fear.

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  1. When you are in tough times I have found that focusing on the positive future makes a big difference.

    Another method I have used is to think “What would a successful outcome to this situation be?”

    Followed by the questions “What actions can I take to get to this outcome?” “What action should I do first?”

    This way I solve most problems when they arise.
    Daniel M. Wood´s last blog post ..Podcast Episode 6 – Being a Star Salesman and Manager with S Anthony Iannarino

  2. Amy says:

    Figuring out what the worst possible outcome would be usually helps me, too.
    I’ve also found meditation to be hugely helpful. It helps me to gain distance from difficult situations. They still arise and I still go through rough patches, but meditation seems to make them smaller and faster.
    Amy´s last blog post ..Why I&8217m Becoming a Bag Lady

    • Henri says:

      I meditate frequently so I couldn’t agree with you more on that one. It always helps me connect with something bigger, as we all tend to get stuck in our personal dramas.

  3. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    I was glad to see acceptance at the top of your list. It’s so important. I went through a very difficult time in my life when every day something bad seemed to happen to me… health, work, relationships… you name it, it happened. Friends used to say, “well, at least it can’t get any worse.” But that’s just it… it could get worse and it often did at that period in my life. Acceptance was such an important part of getting me though it all.
    Jason Billows´s last blog post ..Happy People Have Shitty Lives Too 9 Tips For Greater Happiness

    • Henri says:

      Thanks for reading, Jason!

      I agree. Acceptance is key. It would be pretty hard to be human without it, wouldn’t it? ;)

  4. All good advice – I think we also need to develop a sense of gratitude for what we do have. It’s very easy to be lured into a constant treadmill of wanting more (stuff, money, time, love, food, whatever), and base our happiness on comparison with others.
    Next Starfish´s last blog post ..It’s Not Easy Being Green

  5. van025 says:

    Great tips.Thanks for your sharing. I think that we should Focus on the Positive,it’s the unique way that helps us more optimistic about future,avoid thinking negatively.
    van025´s last blog post ..do college students go on vacation with their family

  6. I especially like the advice to write down the worst that can happen. I’ve used thinking about worst case scenarios as a technique for a while, but actually writing them down really helps – I just tried it! Thanks.
    Tess Giles Marshall´s last blog post ..Crones Don’t Whine – a review

    • Henri says:

      Hey Tess!

      Writing down makes a big difference for me too. It’s one thing to have it in your mind, but quite another having it down on paper :)

  7. […] simple ways to get ahead in tough times – how to significantly reduce the time that it takes to get past frustration, anger, and […]

  8. Noel says:

    I always turn to this quote when life is tough: “Everything will be fine in the end; If it’s not, it’s not the end”. It’s a good reminder for me to always keep faith and be optimistic, as god has a plan for you. No worries~

  9. mary jane says:

    Great and very helpful post, with many good tips. I find that embracing the worst outcome and writing down a plan to cope with it is very helpful. Also meditation and good self care. You are so right about passion. Mine is my horses, and when life is hard for me, I try to go ride and play with them. They are so grounding and make me smile :-). I think that is true of any genuine passionate pursuit.
    mary jane´s last blog post ..The Kalasha–Pagan Tribe of the Silk Road

  10. Thayu says:

    Good Ways to get rid of our negativity..:)

  11. Shona Smith says:

    I am a major fan of positivity. Keeping bright minded helps me the most.
    Shona Smith´s last blog post ..Do you use daily rituals to bring more fun to your life

  12. Baker says:

    This is a good. Learning to focus on the positive generally creates an energy space to move forward, life keeps moving on and you have to learn how to focus more on what you do want to create, for a successful future. That was what I got out of that part of your blog post here.

  13. How recognisable! My life was mediocre at best before it completely went to hell a few years ago. But that extremely dark period in my life gave me the exact same insights you describe here! Thanks to these insights I now got my life back on track, I’m happy, I see the positive side of everything and I’m following my passion — helping people who are in the same place I was a few years ago.
    The only difference seems to be that you still use the word ‘problem’ while I have removed it from my vocabulary. A problem is by definition a negative situation, and I believe that by calling it a problem you only reinforce the negativity. So, where others see problems I see challenges and opportunities. The basic situation remains the same but the positive attitude towards it makes it a lot easier to deal with it.
    Jeroen van Baardwijk´s last blog post ..Coincidence Is No Coincidence, Part II

  14. Alice J. McDowell says:

    “There is always a thought behind every feeling. There are some great tools out there that can help you release negativity during tough times.

    Some of my favorite ones are Emotional Freedom Techniques, Sedona Method, and The Work.”

    – Yeah, my friend loves Emotional Freedom Techniques EFT too, she’s doing this everytime she go to bed and before meal. I’m looking forthe best EFT provider online and i found this http://eft.mercola.com/ , anyone heard this before?

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