How do you cope?

These days it seems that wherever we turn there are insane and unexpected news events, and so many people struggling with their health, their emotions and their very lives. If you are like me you learned long ago that life is a constant change, and adaptability skills are one of the best set of tools to pack in your tool kit. But that does not change the sense that the world seems to be spinning out of control, right?

Recently a friend struggling with cancer reminded me how difficult life can be, and how we want everything to be in order, without issue, without struggle but the truth is life is one heck of a boot camp that causes us to roll up our sleeves and push through the hard things to keep moving forward. This has pushed me back to reading, and trying to learn what makes some people so flexible, adaptable and seem to move through life effortlessly. Yes, i hear you now and you are probably saying that some people just know how to mask their struggle better. That may well be true. But some people have a deeper capacity to get through the stress and churn of life and i want to understand that more.

Years ago i remember listening to an interview of a few military officers that were now free after being held prisoner in South Vietnam during that war. These men went through horrific conditions, both physical and psychological horrors, yet one of these guys came out strong, and had been attributed with keeping those in earshot of him stable, confident in hope of freedom, and consistently diligent in his convictions. It was a profound and the lessons learned consisted of a few points:

  • remain firm in those things you know. in the case of this officer he knew that as an officer his brothers in arms would not leave him there and they would be coming for him at some point.
  • focus on hope – there is always hope.
  • find a hobby or something to do that takes you away from the news, technology, and the bombardment of crazy news. My passion is reading, painting silk, gardening… that allows me to unplug from everything.
  • develop new disciplined thought patterns – if you notice that something causes you to react negatively, get depressed, or grow despondant i would recommend making a plan to shut off that information as it comes, and redirect your efforts to something else. Our household shut off the tv almost a year ago, and we both enjoy that time of not having the tv on, and realize how shutting off that flow of media has been lifesaving.
  • Allow a place for faith in God. I value my time spent in reading the bible, and often verses offer inspiration, hope , and challenge old thoughts.

Answers for how crazy our world has become are just not there. I think each of us will agree this is unprecedented terriroty of events, and topics we would have never thought of. We cant control any of that. But we can control how we react to it, or what we do with the constant bombardment of news. Join me in turning off the news, and the tv for at least 1 month…. see how you are feeling as a result of that decision. I think you will find some of the stress of the constant churn will go away. Trust me, you wont miss much!