Haven’t we all had a week where nothing seemed to go right? Maybe the sun appeared to shine a little less brightly, the exhaustion crept in, or we even found ourselves amidst tragedy. It can feel like every setback pulls us further into the abyss with no sign of finding solid ground anytime soon. The hopelessness we desperately want to keep at bay returns with a force one-thousand times greater than it was previously. Sometimes we simply can’t see the horizon beyond the storm no matter how hard we search for it. It doesn’t make us weak to feel this way, merely someone in the throws of life.

We may not be able to control all these unfortunate events any more than we can control the weather, but we don’t have to let it beat us. There may not have been a choice to be knocked down, but we have a choice in whether we rise again. Keeping a positive attitude during the worst of times can make a world of difference. Mind over matter is crucial to keeping our chin held high and our eyes focused on our next goal.

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● While going through hard times, it is often necessary to remind ourselves of past happy memories. A few people may view this wistful suggestion with skepticism, because why would we want to look back on better days. The truth is, our favorite memories don’t have to fuel bitterness for the present. They can push us to fight for the life we want to have again. We can decide to change our mindset from ‘it won’t happen again’ to ‘when it happens again’ so we are ready for what is to come.

● What can we do in these situations? Assuming we are out of the game is not an option. The bigger aspects of life may be out of our hands at times, but we can find stability even then. One way to do this is to make small changes in our lives that we CAN control, even if it pales in comparison to the bigger challenges of the day. If there is a bad habit that isn’t contributing to our well-being we can discard it from our lives. In other instances, we may want to implement positive change in our daily activities.

● It takes a village is not merely an understatement. Surrounding ourselves with people who share our attitudes will bolster our conviction. If we are supported by a tribe of positively like-minded people, none of it feels as overwhelming. Refusing to let negative people tear us down will remind us of all the joy there still is in our lives. We must keep our attention on what we have, as opposed to what we’re missing. From family to friends, there should be people in our lives who lift us up.

● When our life is whipping past us at breakneck speeds, we can’t let it get to us. We have to take the initiative to center ourselves among the chaos we’re experiencing. Withstanding the storm isn’t always easy but we have to push forward. If we don’t it can drive us insane and cause us to experience our lives as a bystander as opposed to the main character of our stories. The power to make decisions rests in our hands, no one else’s. Our autonomy can not be compromised by others unless we let it.

We may have to face adversity in our lives, but we get to decide how we react to it. None of us are ever helpless, a fact that we need to keep close to our hearts in difficult times. Today, we can begin taking little steps toward changing our perspective – and therefore changing our circumstances.

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