Thursday, September 25, 2014

Dealing with A Rough Week


Definitely, I am having a rough week. Everything seems to go wrong this week, and it seems that things are not improving. I feel that I want to go sleep and wake up next week. I feel so powerless this week; almost as if I was in the middle of a storm without being able to control my direction, path or anything else. When negative events seem to happen simultaneously – as it happened to me this week – they feel suffocating and impossible to overcome. 

Of course, I am familiar with the expression, "after a storm comes a calm" or "the calm after a storm", but there is really not way for me to predict that next week will be better than this week. The reality is that rough weeks or rough days can happen anytime to anyone. 

This week I have learned that the events in your life do not determine the course of your life. Rather, it is your reaction to those events that will determine the quality of your life, and your life direction. In other words, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you react to what happens to you. My reaction to some of the events that happened to me this week was guided by negative emotions and impulses that clouded my vision, thoughts and energy. I have been dwelling on negative things (even though they were just small things sometimes) the whole week. I have felt sorry for myself and let the obstacles and problems disturb my mental peace. Through the process of doing and feeling this way, I have also affected the mental peace of my loved ones.

How to change this?
As my late father would have said to me in this situation, "you need to bounce back...you are a fighter". I cannot change the past, but I can certainly, or at least try, to change the future.

I did a little search and found a few tips/suggestions to overcome rough weeks:

(1) Find your foundation: The life we live should stand on a solid foundation. Finding your foundation means rediscovering the things that are truly important to you; the things that make your life worth living. You may have a passion for music or art. Use your current hardship to rediscover what drives you. Use those expressions of yourself to remind you that life can be enjoyable.

(2) The Ant Philosophy: In some of his speeches, author Jim Rohn often talks about the ant philosophy. Ants are remarkably persistent. If an ant is on its way somewhere, and you place your thumb in its path, the ant instinctively tries to find another way. Giving up is never an option. When things get tough in our lives, we have to adopt the ant philosophy. Instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, and letting the obstacle win, we must attempt to find another way to get on the right path. We must be persistent until we reach our destination.

(3) Verbalize It: Humans were not designed to be isolated. We need each other in so many ways. I've learned this week that is essential to find support from others. Yesterday, a very good friend asked me about my rough week and generously offered me a hug. Her hug gave me a strength that I needed so much this week.  

(4) Dwell on the Good: For some strange reason, our minds tend to dwell on the negative things, particularly when things are a little bit rough. Even though it seemed as though my life was filled with the negative this week, I know that there were many good things that happened to me. After all, my health and that of all the members of my family was good. But instead of being thankful for the good things, I made the mistake of choosing to see and dwell on the bad. It is so easy to dwell on the bad instead of the good. This is something that I need to remind myself everyday.

(5) Be Patient with Yourself: None is perfect, we can all make mistakes. Criticizing yourself, beating yourself up, feeling sorry for yourself, and being disappointed in your own behaviour is not virtuous or productive in any way. It certainly doesn't help to feel better when things are not going well. 
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