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    10 questions to face difficult times

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    Louise Hay
    @louisehay
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    We all have to face difficult times from time to time, it's part of life. Sometimes these difficulties depend on situations beyond our control, sometimes they are a direct consequence of our decisions. In both cases our response is usually the same: we sink into worry. When we have negative experiences, we worry about the only answer we have to give at that moment, it is as if the rest of our identity disappears. From our main concern. Clearly there are many situations that we cannot change, we have no control over what has already happened. But we can choose how to react, we are able to determine the meaning we give to the situation. In fact, the 90/10 principle tells us that "10% of life depends on what happens to us, and the remaining 90% on how we react to the situation". If we do not reflect on the importance of learning how to manage our emotions. We spend our whole lives reacting like robots, letting these circumstances dictate our moods and, consequently, also determine our well-being. So the next time you are faced with a difficult moment, I recommend that you ask yourself a series of questions that will allow you to change your view of the situation.

    When circumstances seem bigger than you ...

    1. Are you breathing? Sometimes all you can do is breathe. When stress and anxiety are so great that they paralyze you, focusing on your breathing is the first step to regain serenity. In fact, did you know that through deep, rhythmic breathing you can influence the autonomic nervous system by bringing your blood pressure and heart rate back to normal? If you are stressed, take 10 minutes a day and use it to breathe deeply.
    2. How do you feel?
    Making decisions when we are emotionally overwhelmed is not a smart choice. However, when faced with difficult situations, we tend to stay in the black hole of negative emotions, sometimes without realizing it. Therefore, it is important to become aware of emotions. Simply knowing that they are there deprives us of their negative impact and allows us to make better decisions.
    3. How responsible are you?
    It is not about blaming oneself, it is about determining responsibility. This is not merely a terminological disquisition, but involves a profound change of perspective. Focusing on your own responsibility allows you to mitigate the challenge and find the side of the situation that you can influence.
    4. What can you check?
    One of the biggest sources of anxiety and oppression is thinking that everything is up to us, that we are in control. However, in reality many things are out of our control, so when we feel overwhelmed by circumstances, we can ask ourselves what we are really able to control about the situation we are concerned about. Focus on what you can change, however small.
    5. What can you not control?
    It's about identifying all the things that are beyond our control and accepting that no matter how hard we try, it's normal that we can't control everything. Take the time to assess the situation and then let go of all the things you worry about but can't control. Remember that worrying about things you can't solve wastes significant energy and prevents you from focusing on what you can actually control.
    6. What is the most important thing you can do now?
    When a situation is bigger than us and we don't know how to behave, we tend to procrastinate. But as we procrastinate, the problem increases and worries grow out of control. Therefore, it is very important to act. In this sense, kaizen tells us that no matter how small the step, just do it. Ask yourself what can be done right now and do it without delay. Simply being proactive improves your mood and boosts your self-confidence.
    7. What are the options?
    When faced with a difficult situation, emotions understandably take over. However, overwhelmed by emotions, we do not think clearly and are unable to discern possible paths. This mental fog can only increase despair and suffering. Therefore, it is critical to ask ourselves what options are available to us. Create a list of alternatives that can shed some light on the possible solutions at hand.
    8. Do you take care of yourself?
    When we are overly worried, stressed or anxious, we often neglect our physical and mental health. We sleep poorly, eat poorly and do little physical activity. Yet it is precisely at these times that we need to be at 100% of our capabilities. So, when trouble comes knocking at your door, be sure to take care of yourself. Remember that the mind and body are an inseparable unit; if one is neglected, the other part will suffer.
    9. What worries you now, will it matter in the next 5 years?
    Absorbed in our present worries, we often lose sight of the future. When we are drowning in the sea of despair, we find it hard to believe that we will find a lifeboat to save us. However, in reality most of the problems that affect us today will not be significant in 5 years, if we are able to put things in perspective. Remember that we are excellent at generating a storm in a glass of water, so always ask yourself if what is troubling you today will be just as important in the future.
    10. What can you learn?
    Every difficulty comes with a lesson. You may not see it at first, but as time goes on, you will notice that this problem has probably helped us become a more resilient person. Instead of complaining and wondering why it happened to you, try to focus on the lesson, on what this setback taught you. Remember that challenges, changes and problems are part of life, we can't avoid them, but we can choose how. Face them and how much weight to give them.
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