This post was originally published at tickledthink.com. Republished here with permission.
Over the past year, life has thrown me so many unexpected bumps and storms. A few of them are just too much for me to take.
This year was probably one of the greatest challenges that I’ve had to face. I’ve lost someone very dear to me due to an illness. I was then diagnosed with major depressive disorder and anxiety.
And eventually, I had to quit my job because of it with zero savings and no backup plan. I felt like a total failure and such a disappointment to the people that I love.
I was lost. I would wake up every day hating myself.
You see, before this happened, I was always that person whom people ran to. I was always this person whom they can lean on – the one who’s always looking out for them.
I was a go-getter. I had high hopes and big dreams. But then I fell apart. I crumbled.
And every day, I felt like I didn’t just disappoint myself, I also disappointed the people that I love — that hurt more.
I would wake up every day bitter and full of hate. I was never at peace with myself.
Those days were just brutal.
But after everything, I know that those brutal experiences have made me stronger. It helped me grow and it gave me a much greater understanding of life.
It opened my eyes and made me realize that even in the toughest and most difficult situation, we can still find peace.
Here are 5 ways I maintain peace of mind in the toughest moments…
Give yourself time
I woke up to a lot of dark days – pain, guilt, and worthlessness were part of it.
I wanted so badly for my situation to change. I wanted to forget the pain and just move on from everything.
I wanted to just hit the fast-forward button and get on with my life.
But in reality, there is no fast-forward button.
Because healing takes time. Moving on is a process. It takes time to grieve, it takes time to let go and accept what it is.
We all go through something in life where we want nothing more than to just easily move forward — I did.
But we must constantly remind ourselves that Moving on, Healing and breaking free from the pain of the past doesn’t take a day. It’s a slow and gradual process.
It may even take a thousand little steps and that’s perfectly okay. Stop beating yourself up.
Instead, breathe, take it day by day and give yourself time to heal.
Don’t rush yourself into feeling better — do it one step at a time.
Remind yourself that every ending is not an end
Having to quit my job was bittersweet. I didn’t love my job, it was stressful and very soul-sucking but I was good at it.
And somehow all my achievements and milestones there made me feel that I was good enough and that made me happy.
So, when I had to leave, I couldn’t help but feel like my purpose was ripped out of me. That I no longer have any worth because I didn’t have that.
I was lost. And I couldn’t help but say this to myself: So, this is it. This is what life has for me.
And I said this phrase to myself every single day and you know what good it brought me? — nothing.
More often, we are always too focused on the things that happened, or what could have happened that we easily forget that every day is an opportunity for a new beginning.
That every ending doesn’t necessarily mean the end.
Sometimes, a chapter needs to end to make way for something even better.
Stop looking at the past.
Stop thinking of what could have been and start focusing all your energy and attention on what could be.
I know sometimes, endings are painful. Some of them turn our whole world upside down.
But we have to keep reminding ourselves that life still has so many things in store for us — sometimes, all we need to do is to look for the beginning in every ending.
For years, I held on to hate, anger, and resentment for this one person.
She made me feel that I was worthless and that I will never be good enough and I thought that it was only right for me to hold a grudge in my heart for good.
But you see, holding that amount of anger in my heart was only harming me more than it was harming her.
I spent almost all my life trying to prove myself, always asking for other’s approval and validation. Always wanting to be enough.
All because I took the hate and her words with me. For years, I gave it the power to control me and hurt me over and over again.
And that’s the reality, more often, when we choose to hold on to anger and resentment, we are allowing ourselves to live in the pain of the past.
We are allowing ourselves to relieve the wrong that was done over and over again that we often miss the beauty of what we have now and who we are now.
Remember that forgiving doesn’t mean that we are minimizing the pain that we have felt or the wrongness that they have done, it just means that we are now ready to let go and to not let them control us and hurt us anymore.
It’s not easy and sometimes it’s just too close too impossible (it even took me 20 years to finally do it) but it is worth doing – it freed me.
Allow yourself to vent out and open up to someone you trust
I hated crying in front of other people. I didn’t want to show them that I need help or that I’m not okay. I didn’t want to show them my weaknesses.
I choose to carry everything on my own. I choose to carry the burden and the pain alone.
But no matter how strong we think we are, even if we think that we can face everything on our own, we have to remind ourselves that WE ARE NOT ALONE.
And we don’t have to be alone. Asking for help is never a sign of weakness.
When you’re in a dark place, allow yourself to let someone in.
Yes, they may not be able to solve everything for you.
They may not be able to completely pull you out of the darkness but it makes your journey a little more bearable.
It makes the darkness a little lighter.
Learn to trust yourself
After hitting an all-time low and after experiencing a lot of disappointments, I started doubting myself to a point where I was too afraid to move forward because I believed that I couldn’t do it.
We often go through so many obstacles and disappointments that we find it difficult to believe in ourselves and we start doubting our capabilities.
We start to believe that no good could ever come to us and that there is just no point in even trying.
But I tell you this: Life will not forsake you. Life has so many things in store for you. All you have to do is to put your trust in yourself, stay true to your heart’s desires and things will slowly fall into place.
Do your best in everything, every day. Believe in what you can do and move
Life is like a rollercoaster ride. We are always bound to experience bumps, turns, and events that sometimes make us bitter, resentful and angry at the world.
So, on days where you feel too stressed and overwhelmed by life try these tips and let me know how it goes!
Remember, I believe in you! Whatever it is that you are going through, regardless of how low you may feel about your situation, I want you to know that You are not alone. You are strong enough. You are worthy and you can do it.
I am not a licensed therapist. If you are suffering from a major disorder and need treatment please seek the help of a professional to get the help you deserve.