Friday, September 5, 2008

Rough Patch?

Ever gone through a rough patch? I actually am not crazy about that term, especially when I’m in one. It never feels temporary when things go wrong and life is not running the course you envision. The thing is, once you emerge on the other side, or at least on the other side of negative thinking, that is exactly what it seems like… a patch of roughness. It’s a tough walk, hard to get through, but nonetheless not an endless drudgery after all.

How do you get through it swiftly, and more easily? First things first: realize you are never, NEVER alone. It may feel that way, and I admit I sometimes feel alone, especially when I’m in a funk, and it is really hard to reach out, but do it. Just talk to someone. There are more people who care than you realize, and just the act of talking it out to a compassionate ear can really get you closer to the other side.

Not to belittle your feelings to suggest that just talking to someone makes it all better, but getting it said, out loud, names the issue, and often once it comes out verbally, the badness doesn’t sound nearly as bad as it seems internally. So put words to it. Write about it even if you want. But name it, and begin to overcome it. You’re swimming in debt, feel like you are drowning….okay that’s bad, but what is going on right now? Do you have food to eat and a roof over your head? Are you able to work? Do you have something, anything to be thankful for? Yes you do. Even homeless people have something to be thankful for. Find it and begin the process of gratitude.

It’s talked about, written about, and thus is out of you. You have found something to be thankful for. Now…look at your feet. Are you still struggling to get through it? Is it there? Is it behind you? Dissolved? Almost?

The last “step” of getting through a rough patch is to begin a fresh focus. Use some form of meditation, or brainstorming, or goal setting technique to switch your entire train of thought to something new. Never go backwards to the same old drawing board: get a new one. Start a new list of goals. Erase the slate and start all over. What you had in your bag of tricks before that was working will emerge anew. Even more exciting, though, is the stuff that you might come up with that you never thought of before. One more tip: be completely open to your new approach. Throw away your old responses to familiar situations. Never just sigh and say “not again”, but take a fresh breath and think about how you can approach things differently.

Have you recently gone through a rough patch? Share your experience with us and what you did to get through it!

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