1. Realize that change is always going to be in your life. Expect it.
“I always thought things would calm down and get easier. I’m beginning to think that’s not going to happen.” Phoebe Howard, age 99.
2. Be nice to yourself. Treat yourself as you would your best friend. Read Kristen Neff’s Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself.
3. Practice mindfulness by noticing your thoughts and feelings, but have no judgment about them. Try this 12-minute ‘taster’ by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
4. Resistance is like a Chinese Finger Trap. The more you struggle, the tighter you’re held in the trap.
5. Be flexible and open in your way of thinking. It will allow you to problem-solve more effectively and accept your reality more easily. Read Roger von Oech’s A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
6. Find your taproot.
7. See if there is a gift hidden within your troubles. The sand that irritates the oyster eventually becomes a pearl.
8. Develop post-traumatic growth. The basics are being optimistic and framing your struggles as meaningful (finding the gifts and opportunities in them.)
9. Gain perspective: See how many different angles you can view the same problem from.
10. More perspective: Remember that you’ve made it through tough times before. And you’re still here to talk about it.
“I like to see a cloud in the blue sky. How else can you appreciate the blue without a cloud in it?” - my 100-year-old grandmother, Mary Gustason
11. Think about kaleidoscopes. The pattern is beautiful, but when it gets shaken up, a wonderful new pattern can emerge.
12. Take a break. Really. It’s okay.
13. Find something that makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
14. Remember that your thoughts aren’t always true.
15. Remember that it’s okay to have fun, smile, and laugh sometimes even when you are in the worst of situations. (It’s even good for you.)
16. Sometimes things really do suck. No one said you have to like the difficulty in front of you. Read this for more.
17. Look up. No, really. I mean look up. What do you see that you didn’t before? There. Wasn’t it nice to get out of your head for a moment?
18. Practice acts of kindness.
19. Stop ruminating.
20. Savor the good stuff. The next time you see a beautiful sunset, stop and really see it.
22. Remember that falling apart means you can put yourself back together any way you’d like.
23. Distract yourself from your troubles for a while. Healthy stuff only!
24. Remember that this is how it feels today. It won’t be like this all the time.
25. Remember that Suffering = Pain x Resistance.
26. Believe that life is meaningful.
“Those who have a ‘why’ to live for can bear with almost any ‘how.’” – Friederich Nietzsche
27. Stay away from shame. Watch Dr. Brene Brown’s Tedx talk.
28. Change what you can, accept what you can’t.
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Last reviewed: 4 Feb 2014