Coping with life’s ups and downs

8 July 2019 | Katy Ratican

We all face times of stress, confusion and failure; it’s part of being human. We might not be able to control what happens to us, but we can increase our resilience and choose how we respond to life’s difficulties.

Here are our top tips for how to respond positively in difficult times:

Breathe

It’s just as easy as it sounds! Just take a moment to take a nice deep breath. Many of us have lost touch with our breath, but simply by connecting with it again, you will experience a positive mental and physical shift. Deep breathing decreases the stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline, allowing you to react more calmly in overwhelming situations.

By taking a moment to breathe, your mind becomes quieter, which allows you greater clarity.

Try this: Sit on a chair, your feet touching the ground, focus your attention on your breath and on any sensations that you notice in your body. Slow down your breathing and say silently to yourself, as you inhale, ‘one’, then breathing out, slowly say ‘one’. Do this every morning for 5-10 minutes and several times throughout the day for a minute or two.

Move

Exercise reduces stress and improves strength, increasing your ability to cope with your stress trigger points. Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good brain chemicals, which will help to improve your mood. Start gently, such as going for a mindful walk or taking a yoga class. You’ll soon notice a difference to your mood.

Socialise

In times of stress, it’s easy to isolate yourself from others, but that will likely leave you more lonely, or even depressed. Talking to others can help; make the effort to meet a friend for coffee, join a community group or visit family.

Explore the outdoors

Venture out to your local park, take up gardening – anything that puts you in touch with nature.

Sleep

Make sure you get enough sleep every night. Set a schedule to go to bed at a regular time – and stick to it. Everything’s better with a good night’s sleep. Learn how to change your sleeping patterns.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon improve your resilience for dealing with life’s ups and downs. And remember: nothing is forever, this too shall pass.

Other articles you might be interested in…

How meditation changes your perspective

How to control anxiety in the workplace