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How To Maturely Deal With Upsetting Experiences

Aug 17, 2007
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to keep things organized and running efficiently in your life, unexpected things happen that threaten to completely undermine your sense of well-being.

These upsets can be big or small, ranging from identity theft to losing your car keys. Yet they are enough to make you feel that they completely ruin everything for you. They hit you emotionally like a punch in your stomach, knocking the wind out of you.

I'm not sure why life throws these curves. Is it a product of our own thinking coming to attack us, some type of karmic rebound? Is it random misfortune? Or is it some weird cosmic "test" of our mettle. It is almost impossible to find the cause. Focusing on the cause is one way to become confused and unglued.

However, understanding the cause may not be necessary. Instead, dwell on the solution. This is the mature way to keep your sense of balance when the ground has been pulled from under your feet.

Here are some emergency steps to take:

1. Release the frustration and all the other emotions. Do this immediately. You can do this through deep breathing and imagining letting it go, talking with a friend to get some perspective, or simply taking a long walk until you calm down.

2. Assuming you are now calm, the next step is to regain your control. Here is where you regroup your resources. It may help just to start tidying and organizing things around you, thus restoring your faith that order can be regained. In other words, you will get a sense of order by doing some routine ordering in your environment.

3. Now that you are calm and in control, make a list. Start with a question that asks you what to do about the situation. Then answer that question by making a long list of possible answers. Do this quickly, without thinking too much about it. What you want is to push past your conscious ideas and dig up some original insights. This is why speed is important.

4. Refine that list. Hone in on your best possible choices.

5. Take action. Do what you can. Make things happen. This will make you feel a whole lot better. If it is a theft, file a police report. If it is a financial issue, find ways to get money flowing into your life again. And so on.

Sometimes the situation may be really bizarre, where you have no idea what to make of it. Yet you also find you need some insight before you can take any type of meaningful action. In this case, at step 3, ask your question then leave it blank and go do something else, including taking a long nap. You can even do step 3 just before bedtime. Your subconscious mind will now work on resolving it.

A farther way to deal with this upset is to imagine the opposite. If for example, someone stole your credit card, think about how the bank has restored your balance and sealed off the card from future use and how it is engaged in issuing you a new one.

Doubtlessly, fearful thoughts will start creeping in throughout the day. If you respond to them, they will force you to go on all sorts of nightmarish mental safaris. Do not go there.
Depression, helplessness, emotional outbursts, behavioral acting out is not the solution.

Bad stuff happens to all of us at some time or another. The trick is to grow stronger, not to fall apart. As Nietzsche said, "What does not kill me, makes me stronger."

There is no point in futile analysis, "why me?" "why now?"

You have to keep reassuring yourself by thinking of a new scene, where you not only envision getting what you lost but even better things are showing up for you.

None of these steps are easy to take, because your natural inclination is just to rant and rave and progressively fall apart. You feel as if there is a huge hole in your chest. However by taking these common sense steps, you get your common sense back. By taking the best action you know how, you can either mitigate the problem or even resolve it in a meaningful way.

Even when really bad stuff happens, know that you are a powerful person and will not let it ruin your life. Focus on what you still have left. Focus on the new way that has opened up for you.

Sometimes out of the worst situation, miracles come out of nowhere. Who you are is greater than the misfortune life may sometimes throw at you. When you cleave to a mature view, you will come out of your upsetting situation and regain your sense of personal power.
About the Author
Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas His book Never Ever Give Up tells you how. It is offered at no cost as a way to help YOU succeed. http://www.theempoweredsoul.com
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