Storms happen. One moment you’re sailing on peaceful waters, then all of a sudden the sky turns gray and it seems like you’re being swallowed whole by crashing waves, with nary a life raft. And yet, you’re expected to keep smiling, keep the faith, and know that the sun will shine tomorrow. That’s all nice and dandy, and sure looks good in encouraging “thinking of you” cards, but in real life it is the most difficult thing to keep a smile on your face when your main goal is to simply keep your head above water. But somehow, you must.
If you ever have the same contemplation as the sage Grandmaster Flash, and find yourself wondering how you keep from going under, it is helpful to identify the specific things in your life that keep you afloat. We can restore hope within ourselves by reconnecting with people, values, memories, and goals that propel us to keep going. To beat being pulled under, and find your way back to the surface of safe waters, try these hope-restoring methods.
- THINK OF THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE THE MOST AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR YOU TO REMAIN A PART OF THEIR LIVES. This is an instant answer to that devious voice in our head that asks, “why bother?” Practicing this method arms you with clear answers for why you should bother – because your children need you, because your mother would be lost without you, because your friends depend on you, because there are people who you love and want to protect.
- REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE MADE OF. You’ve made it this far, and I’m sure you’ve done more than just cry your way through life. There have been challenges that you’ve overcome that are far tougher than what you’re facing now. And when you thought you couldn’t take anymore challenges in the past, you did it – you survived. You’re made of good stuff. Remind yourself of that.
- CONJURE UP POSITIVE MEMORIES. Some things just made us really happy. There are memories stored in our minds that pop up every once in a while and bring a smile to our faces. Did you know that you can intentionally recall those same memories to shift your current mood? If you feel like you’re being overtaken by the waves of life, at any moment you can intentionally connect with a positive memory and immerse yourself in the scene with all of your senses and your mind will actually believe it is there. Every once in a while, it’s okay to transport yourself to a better place until you actually feel better.
- DREAM UP LOFTY GOALS. Do you know what you want in life? Can you experience passion for what you want to do? When you feel like you’re drowning in the deep blue, it can help to think on what you personally want to accomplish, giving yourself no limits, and not worrying about whether or not they’re realistic dreams at the moment. Just ‘go there,’ allowing yourself to have the wildest, most imaginative goals to let your brain get busy exercising some creative thought.
It may rain, but your life doesn’t have to be flooded with unwanted emotions. By remembering that major storms only last a season, you will be able to keep yourself afloat through self-encouragement, connecting with the power that lives in you, and practicing methods that allow you to kick your way back to the top of the waters to again witness that proverbial sunshine.