10 Ways to Cope When Bad Things Happen

ways to cope when bad things happen

It doesn’t really matter who we are or what we do, from time to time, things go wrong. We can do our best to cover our bases, but sometimes it’s just outside our control. What’s important in these situations is not so much why bad things happen, but how we cope with them when they do happen.

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We’ve all been there!

Have you ever had one of those stretches when it’s just one thing after another? Sure you have because it happens to everyone. Well, that’s why I am writing about this because I just went through it. I want to share some attitude tweaks that can help you cope next time the stuff hits the fan in your life.

Most of us don’t go around inviting unwanted trials into our lives. Still, from time to time we do need to cope with them. When we find ourselves in that kind of situation, our attitude will definitely influence how we view the experience.  Having the right attitude increases our ability to cope and our emotional resourcefulness.

Nobody is immune

Fact of life: There are potential pitfalls in every area of life and business. There are those that are man made including everything from credit card fraud to identity theft, and from deception in advertising to poor customer service. Then there are those that we refer to as natural disasters like flooding, earthquakes, and hurricanes. Let’s face it, sometimes bad things just happen.

When they do, it can easily turn your world upside down. But by if we have the skills to cope with unexpected challenges, we can get through them without going bonkers.

I have learned some helpful little attitude adjustments that help me cope with challenging situations and I think you may find them useful. Of course, not every point can be applied in every situation, but the more points you can use at once, the better you will be able to cope with any given challenge.

10 Ways to cope when bad things happen

1. Detach yourself emotionally. Most of the emotions that grow out of negative situations are negative. When you refuse to be engaged emotionally, the situation becomes emotionally neutral. That means that you can cope with it rationally instead of reacting to it emotionally. This also changes how the experience is recorded in your memory and nervous system.

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2. Forget about asking why. You can ask why later, for now focus on asking, “What’s the best way to cope with this challenge?” Your mind loves to solve problems. By asking “what’s the best way to cope” you are telling your mind that there is a workable solution to be found. It will immediately go to work looking for the very best solution. This keeps your focus on creating a positive outcome.

3. Look for the value. There is almost always some value in challenging situations. The more we train ourselves to see the value in every experience, the more resourceful we will be when those experiences are challenging and unexpected. The truth is that we grow from facing challenges more than we would without them. I know, sometimes there are growing pains involved, but that’s just tuition in the school of life.

4. Ask for help. We can’t always get ourselves out of a mess. Don’t be afraid to ask those who are more knowledgeable for help or direction. Most of the time they are glad to help or at least point you in the right direction. For example. with regard to running this website, I am not the most tech savvy guy around, so when I need help, I ask. The willingness of others to lend assistance is heartwarming.

5. Remember, it’s temporary. One way or another, you will get through it. Every situation has a conclusion. Even if it’s not the conclusion you wanted, at least it will be over and you can start from there. If you have to rebuild some aspect of your life, you will probably do it better and faster than you did the last time.

6. As long as you’re at it, upgrade. If something in your life falls apart, turn it to your advantage. One way to do this is by using your energy to upgrade rather than repair. Granted, this isn’t always feasible, but when it is, it provides you with the opportunity to turn a setback into progress.  So, the end result will put you ahead of where you were and that will mean that you actually benefited from the experience.

7. Role play. This is an effective tactic for removing yourself emotionally from a frustrating challenge. Pretend that you have been called in to handle the situation because of your calm and logical demeanor. The person facing the challenge needs someone who is cool and capable to cope with it, and that’s why you are there.

8. Take rescue remedy. Maybe you’ve never heard of Rescue Remedy, let me tell you this is some good stuff. It’s a flower remedy developed by Dr. Edward Bach. Flower remedies work on a very subtle level to help with a wide array of emotional issues. As you can tell from the name, Rescue Remedy is there to rescue you during periods of emotional stress.

9. Laugh your way through it. Sometimes things get so ridiculous that it’s almost laughable. When that happens, go ahead and laugh. When you laugh at a stressful situation it provides a healthy outlet for your emotions. Laughter is a much better way to release that emotional stress and cope with a challenge than anger is.

10. Don’t take it personal. At times it can feel like you have been singled out to receive more than your share of hardships. Everybody faces more than enough challenges. The universe has not conspired against you. Sometimes bad stuff just happens. Taking things personally just leads to excuses and blame and a whole host of other worthless thoughts and emotions. Don’t even go there, just learn to cope with it and move on.

Learning to roll with the punches

I wish I could say that at some point in your personal development bad things will never happen again. That would be nice, but I prefer to keep it real. How you cope with the challenges you face says a lot about your emotional maturity and true nature. Learning a few simple skills to help you cope resourcefully will help you turn challenges into opportunities. Having a positive perspective in this area will go a long way toward improving the quality of this journey we call life.

How do you cope with your challenges?
Do you have a favorite skill that help you cope?
How do you feel about change?
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