PPI #122 Dealing with Difficult Times in LifeMar 22, 2021
In today’s episode I share 10 techniques that can improve your ability to deal with the inevitable difficult times that we all experience in life.
Acknowledge how you feel, especially relating to the difficult times that you're in.
Talk about it with a friend, get rid of anybody who's making life even more difficult and spend more time with the people that can help you.
Recognize when you need some professional help.
Look after your fundamentals, such as your sleep, your nutrition, your exercise.
Focus on action - What's the next thing that I can do?
Remember that time pretty much does heal all wounds.
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Would you like to get better at dealing with the difficult times in life? Well, by the end of today's episode, I'll have shared with you 10 techniques that can improve your ability to deal with the inevitable difficult times that we all experience in life. Hi, my name is Eric Partaker, and I've been recognized as one of the top entrepreneurs in the country and the CEO of the Year. And I'm also the author of two best-selling books, including The Three Alarms.
So the number one thing that you need to do to get better at dealing with the difficult times in life is you need to acknowledge how you feel. One of the worst things that you can do when you're feeling deep emotions, especially relating to the difficult times that you're in, is to keep that all pent up inside. Whether you need to cry it out or whether you need to punch it out on a punching bag, whatever you need to do, but let those emotions out. Try not to repress them, especially when they're relating to the difficult things that we all experience in life.
Number two, talk about it. Whatever that difficult time is, find somebody to talk about it with, a close friend, a family member, a colleague. I've always found in my life that when I've gone through some of my lowest moments, I've had a particular friend or two that really helped me through that time, that I talked to on maybe not even a daily basis, but at least every other day or several times a week. And that was so, so important to help me get through that period. So think about who are the friends in your network, or the family members or the colleagues, that you could rely on for maybe the difficult time that you perhaps find yourself in right now, and how can you reach out to them and just start talking. Let it out. Don't keep it just within you.
Number three thing that you need to do to help you better deal with the difficult times in life is make sure that you're getting rid of anybody who's making life even more difficult. So that's the last thing that we need when we're trying to get through difficult times. Sometimes getting rid of doesn't necessarily mean just axing them out of our life completely, but you might just need to have an open and honest conversation with a particular person and say, "Look, I'm going through a really challenging time right now, and I just need some space to process this. I need some space to handle this. So please don't take this the wrong way, but I'd really appreciate that, if you could give me the space that I need so that I can get through this moment."
And often when you say something like that to someone, they'll respect whatever it is that you're asking for. Now, of course, if this person is actually making things worse and is toxic for you, well, then they need to be out of your life completely. Perhaps they're the reason that's making things unfairly difficult for you. So that's only a decision that you can make, but you need to think, how do I remove or remove myself from anybody that is making things even more difficult than they need to be?
And number four, which kind of follows the previous one, is spend more time with the people that can help you. So we talked about talking about it with a friend or a particular family member, but there may be other people, as well, that you could be spending more time with, socializing with, or just being in the mere presence of, that would be beneficial to you through this difficult period of time. So not so much that close friend where you're kind of putting it all out on the table and spilling everything, but is there just like a network of people that it would have a positive impact on you to be spending more time with? And how can you get into, plug into that network more, so you could be spending more time with them and lifting your mood up and helping you through this difficult period?
Number five thing that you need to do to help get through the difficult times in life is recognize when you need some professional help. Now I'll admit, even for me, there's been times when I felt quite a lot of benefit from going and seeing a counselor or a therapist to help me think through particular moments in life that were very challenging and very difficult for me. And there's some wonderful people out there who are highly trained, very skilled at doing what they do, and they precisely are there to help people, like you, perhaps, who are experiencing a difficult moment or time. And they're just waiting to be able to help you. They're just waiting for you to reach out and contact them, so that they can demonstrate to you that they can provide the help that you are seeking. So don't discount all of the wisdom out there that's just waiting for you to connect with so that you can get the help that you need.
Number six thing that you can do to make sure that you're better able to handle the difficult times in life is to ask yourself, what's your number one self-care habit? What's the number one thing that you could be doing for yourself that demonstrates the love, the appreciation, and the gratitude that you need to be experiencing more regularly in your life, and how can you increase whatever that is, especially during these difficult times? Maybe it's exercise for you. Exercise is super important for you. Well, how can you increase that? Maybe it's getting enough time with friends. How can you increase that? Maybe it's having enough time to read or whatever it might be. How can you increase that? Maybe it's your sleep. Whatever it may be, what's your number one self-care habit? And make sure, especially when you're going through difficult times, that you're really allocating enough time, if not more time, to allowing that to happen.
Number seven, this is a segue kind of related to the previous point about your number one self-care habit, because your number one self-care habit may in fact be looking after your fundamentals, such as your sleep, your nutrition, your exercise. When we're in difficult times, these things become even more important, because we need that strong foundation. Studies clearly show that if we are sleep deprived, we are less likely to be able to handle the stresses that come with life, let alone something that's very difficult or challenging. Our sleep needs to be protected. If we're not eating well, if we're eating poor foods, too much sugar, not healthy foods, these also have a negative effect on our psyche, which compounded with a difficult time in our life, can make matters even worse without us fully appreciating and realizing it.
And then exercise needs special mention, as well, because exercise has been scientifically proven to boost our mood in a positive way, in equivalent strength to an antidepressant. So if we're actually experiencing some difficult times, it's even more the reason we need to be exercising, because that exercise will flood our body with the positive hormones that we need to better process the challenges that we're facing.
Number eight, to help us better deal with the difficult times, we need to focus on action. Sometimes when things are super difficult, we can become overwhelmed, and there's so many things to do, and we don't even know what to do next. But here's the thing. We can only do one thing at a time. And so if you just focus on, okay, what's the next thing that I can do? When can I do that thing? And when that time arrives, just focus on that. Done, next, next thing. Start, finish, next thing. And just keep going from one thing to the next. Action is often one of the secrets to getting through difficult times, just taking the action orientation, just focusing. What's the very next action that I can take?
Number nine, when we're in difficult times, we need to member this idea of taking a vacation in the present moment. Sometimes difficult times can make us live in the past or make us anxious about the future. And similar to the idea of focusing on what's the next action that you can take, if you really just try to zero in and center yourself in the present moment, it can be a bit of a vacation, because you don't have perhaps the guilt of the past or the anxiety around the future. And you literally just have that moment right there in time. And so to help you better activate that vacation in the present moment, highly recommend taking up a meditation practice if you haven't yet before or reinvigorating one, if you had one in the past, but look to that present moment to provide that space, that little vacation that your mind needs, especially in difficult times.
And number 10, last but not least, in difficult times we also have to remember that time pretty much does heal all wounds. I'm sure you can relate to situations that you thought you would never get over. It was a disaster. Oh my gosh, how will I survive this? But with enough time, it gets better. And that thing passes, and you recover, and you're all okay again.
And I'd love to hear from you. So don't forget to leave a comment, and a rating, as well. And if you'd like to get a copy of my new book, The 3 Alarms, please head over to my website at ericpartaker.com. That's E-R-I-C, ericpartaker.com, where you can pick up a free digital copy of my new best-selling book, The 3 Alarms.