Every passing moment is a gift bubble wrapped with all sorts of surprises. The more curious and adventurous you are, the less likely is the chance of getting knocked by those surprises.
They say life is a journey. When you stop, things don’t go right. Good and bad, success and defeat, happiness and sadness are all part of the adventure. That’s how life works. You can’t relish all the great things without confronting the challenging ones.
After all, no one gets through life without a few struggles. So you are sure to make mistakes, fail, or fall flat on your face. But failures and defeat can be your stepping stone towards becoming a better version of yourself if you know how to learn the lessons concealed in challenging experiences.
Every one of us has encountered the sting of defeat at some point in our life. But what matters is how we stand in the face of fears, harness and use them to tilt the odds in our favor. If you’ve ever felt lost, unhappy, and defeated by life, below are nine things you can do to cope with defeat sensibly.
Have a Good Cry
Expressing your emotions instead of bottling them up is much healthier. Various studies have shown that crying releases feel-good chemicals like oxytocin and endogenous opioids that ease physical and emotional pain.
The next time you feel overwhelmed and defeated, find a quiet place or a supportive shoulder and let your emotions go. Sometimes there’s nothing like a good cry to make you feel better.
Talk Yourself Up
It is normal to continuously hear a stream of negative self-talk, especially when things are not working on our side. But by replacing the negative mental chatter with positive self-talk, you can focus on the positive things in your life.
Positive self-talk can make you feel energized and optimistic about the future. Moreover, it gives you a sense of control over your destiny.
Anytime you run across negative chatter, instead of beating yourself up on yourself, ask this question, what is one thing that I can do today to address the problem? Take that action, and you will likely feel better.
Dig Old Memories
Everyone has at least a moment or two when the world looks dark and bleak. In those moments of truth, recalling things you’ve endured and achieved in the past could help you get out of a psychological rut.
Dig old memories and recall your past victories. Remember the times that hurdles have been put in your way, and you could have given up but didn’t. Recalling even minor victories, like breaking a bad habit, passing a tough exam, or working through a hard task will help you feel better during trying times.
Don’t Play the Comparison Game
When life knocks us down, we are tempted to compare ourselves with others. Remember this, sizing yourself up against others can only lead to low self-esteem, discouragement, and needless angst.
Never compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights reel. You are only seeing the outside of the picture that others choose to show, but in reality, things are not as rosy as you see.
You are not Alone
Do you think it’s just you who’s defeated by life? There are countless examples of people who experienced failure. But they managed to bounce back and turned their defeat into victory. Take the example of Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling, and many others.
There’s not even a single person who hasn’t felt defeated, so you’re not alone. The important thing, however, is that how you learn to face these challenges in your life.
Whenever you feel down, remind yourself of the ups and downs of life-you won’t always be this way. This too shall pass.
Maintaining faith in God is another great way of dealing with negative emotions like grief, despair, helplessness, and loss. Knowing that you are never alone and always protected and guided brings the presence of comfort and hope. Many people believe that amid difficult times God shows up and eases our suffering through angelic guidance.
Write It Down
During troubled times, it’s hard to stay emotionally afloat. But journaling is one powerful tool that can help you cope with emotional pain. I can swear by it, when I hit rock-bottom in 2015 after the sudden demise of my father, I turned to journaling as an outlet to process my feelings. It is a life-saver!
If you feel sad and hopeless about something, give this writing exercise a try. Spend one paragraph getting in touch with the fact that you’re going through a difficult time, another paragraph reminding yourself that you are not alone, and a final paragraph focusing on positive changes you can make to feel happy and content. Spending few minutes trying this exercise will help you resolve inner conflicts and gain a deeper understanding of yourself, and you’ll feel like a ton of bricks have been lifted off your shoulders.
When times get tough, instead of turning into a Debbie Downer, learn to coach yourself past negativity. Have a positive mindset and look at obstacles from a fresh perspective. Reframe the problem and ask yourself: how can I get past this problem? What can I do to make some progress today?
Use positive phrases like, I might not be good enough today, but I can be better tomorrow. Until I quit, I haven’t failed. Don’t look for someone else to save you and take steps to rescue yourself.
We all go through rough times personally and professionally. Most of us let hardships and failures to take us down emotionally, and some of us even spiral down into depression.
When you cultivate and build resilience, you gain the ability to withstand hardships and emerge even stronger than before. As you become more resilient in the face of life’s challenges, you move toward greater well-being and away from stress, anxiety, and hurt.
This one is a biggie: no ifs and buts about it. The power of gratitude is magical. People who practice gratitude know its transformative power, from improved physical, emotional, and social well-being to heightened spirituality. Gratitude is the key to happiness and fulfillment.
If you see a gloomy cloud hovering above, the solution is to be grateful. Gratitude allows you to see all of your problems in a different light. It helps deactivate negative emotions like stress, anger, and low self-esteem and turns every situation into a win-win situation.
You can try it for yourself. Make gratitude a part of your everyday life. Start a gratitude journal and write down three things that you are grateful for. Once you start expressing gratitude, you will see your life drastically changing and in ways that you can hardly imagine.
Life never goes as you want it to. One way or another, you’re bound to be disappointed at some point in your life. You cannot change the past, but you can shape your future. And to do so, you need to let go of the old to allow the new to enter your life.