Eight Tips for When Life Goes Wrong

by Susan Leigh

Sometimes life goes wrong and delivers an unfortunate turn of events. Have we been bad, do we deserve this, is it karma? The answer may be a resounding ‘no’, yet it all needs dealing with and recovering from.

Others may not appreciate the magnitude of what we’re going through and may appear dismissive, insensitive, maybe even offensive as we’re struggling simply to get out of bed.

How to cope at these times?

•Avoid comparing yourself to others. Your feelings, challenges and situation is very different to theirs. Accept that others may not be particularly empathic or supportive, possibly through no fault of their own.

•Keep your own counsel. Be selective over who you share your story with and cautious at randomly exposing too much of yourself when you’re feeling vulnerable.

•Listening to others can bring its own stress. We may regard them as experts, hang onto their opinions and words of wisdom. But remember, they’re not as invested in the outcome as you are. Ask yourself, would others really do what they so freely advise if they were in your shoes?

•Check your perspective, how you’re feeling. Some days will be more positive than others, sometimes everything feels personal. Become tuned in to your own responses and introduce better self-awareness.

•Consider therapy if you suspect you’ve long-standing unresolved issues. Find positive ways to learn from what’s happened and then move forward. Working with a neutral professional who provides the right kind of support can help turn the situation around.

•Acknowledge that loss and endings bring different stages of grief. You may well experience them all, some more frequently than others. The stages can include denial, anger, depression, bargaining/negotiation until there comes an acceptance of where you’re at. All can take time, with no prescribed limit for each individual stage.

•There are many kinds of outside help if you’re not seeking one-to-one therapy. Online forums and discussion groups can provide reassurance and comfort, where you connect with people with similar stories. There you’ll find hints, tips or sometimes simply shared tears and company.

•Take the focus away from yourself. Volunteer and give time for being supportive of others. When you help others it often helps you too. Get involved and recognise your own growth, strength and resilience.

Above all, stay focused. Appreciate that life does sometimes go wrong but tough times eventually do pass.

Susan Leigh, Altrincham Counsellor & Hypnotherapist www.lifestyletherapy.net