Saturday, August 31, 2013

10 Steps Out of a Rough Patch

A homeless person sleeping on a street in Clev...
Homeless person (Wikipedia)
by Alex GT Lowe

I've been talking with different folks recently who have been going through hard times.

Redundancy and other harsh unexpected life transitions have left them lost in the woods.

There's very little immediate comfort that can be given through an article but I certainly have some advice for making the most of it when life hits you with a curve ball.

Change can be very difficult to handle at first but it's important to remember that change is when we grow.

It is when we can find our authentic selves, our true dreams and ambitions stripped of any previous 'roles' and personifications. It's a time to take your life in your hands and become who you can be.

1. Do something proactive

What's that one thing that if you do it today it will improve your life? Pick something small, mundane, manageable and get it done.

2. Get some perspective

View your own situation in a variety of different ways to see what you're not currently seeing. View it looking down on Earth from space, view it from 10 years in the future, view it from the perspective of a wise old man, a small child, a millionaire, a homeless person ... how else can you view this situation?

3. View your current hardships as an inevitable part of life's great adventure

Without the downs there can be no ups. Without the dark long night we would not appreciate the glorious dawn.

4. Accept what is

Try living in the moment without judgement for small blocks of the day. Just sit and breathe and observe your thoughts and emotions without changing them or labelling them for as long as you can. Problems are natural, problems about problems are not.

5. You are your body and it is under your control so use it

Control your breathing, slow it down. Relax your muscles. Adopt the posture of calmness and notice how, no matter what happens on the outside, you can control how you respond in this moment.

6. Focus on gratitude

Think of all the things you have to be grateful for and fill your awareness with abundance. Feel grateful for your heart and lungs and body and brain and cloths and everything else all the way out to the universe. If you have shelter and access to food and warmth then you have more than most.

7. Help others

Volunteer for a short while helping people less fortunate then yourself or simply help out a friend or family member. Even just offer someone a sincere compliment and make them feel better. Get the focus off you and onto others.

8. Relax

Relaxation is a skill more than passing state of mind. Sit or lie down and slowly relax all the major muscle groups of your body. Then scan your body for any excess tension and visualize it dissipating like a cloud of smoke. Schedule regular physical relaxation points into your day. This will also get you more in touch with your body. Get more in touch with your 'gut instinct' and your 'heart felt' desires.

9. Pay attention to your worries then let them go

Write down some of the things that fretful internal voice is telling you. Decide what you are going to do about it. Acknowledge the message and act on your decisions as soon as possible. Then allow the worries to fade.

10. Smile and laugh

You may not feel like it and it may feel corny as hell but putting big smile on our face for a few minutes and/or laughing releases dopamine into your brain that gives you a momentary boost. Sometimes that's all it takes.

Hopefully these ten tips will give you a boost or at lease point you in the right direction.

If you need help or guidance getting over a bad situation or plotting the course to a better destination then you can always get in touch at or contact me at:

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