“Tough times don’t last, but tough people do. And I’ve been through some tough times, and I know a lot of people can recall tough times, and maybe are going through some tough times right now, but they don’t last.” — Alonzo Mourning

Life can be downright difficult at times. Sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down. All of us experience heartache and loss, relationships end, lives are taken too soon, and dreams crumble. No one is immune to these personal setbacks, and getting through tough times can seem like a fairytale fantasy.

However, getting through the tough times in life can be just a little bit easier when you can rely on certain ways. The strategies to keep you moving through hard times rather than getting stuck in negative thoughts or feelings of depression are often the same act that brings out happiness and makes you realize that tough times might not seem so tough. You’ll simply realize the importance of life’s beauty and the miracle it gives.

When you know how to handle yourself through difficult times, you will not only live a happier life but also grow as a person. Now make that happen in your life.

1. Be Optimistic

Keeping faith and believing that good things will happen in the future despite the heartaches can help you get through tough times. Staying positive is just a small part but an important part. When you stay positive, you’re putting yourself in the best position possible to not only make it through those bad times but become a better person in the process.

2. Know the Things You Can Control and Be Creative

Some situations are beyond your control and no matter what you do; you can’t change a thing but just have to deal with it. But there are other times when you can do something that make the situation better. One way is to focus on the things that are within your control. Make a list of everything you can control about the situation and divert all of your focus towards those things.  After that, take a step back and see the bigger picture, the solution won’t be in clear sight but this may help you discover new and useful things.

3. Rely on your faith and lean on your Higher Power

Tough times don’t last, tough people do. But in order to become a tough person, we often need to rely on something far greater than ourselves. This isn’t solely about religion. If you’re not a religious person, rely on your spirituality.

We are all interconnected in this universe. Ever atom and cell in our body has come from a single source at the beginning of time. Whatever you believe in, you must believe that there is an invisible ether that runs through the fabric of life. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. It’s all about God and our belief in Him.

Whenever we open ourselves up, spiritually or religiously, we’re inviting in an element to our lives that doesn’t exist when we’re closed off or simply living a material existence. It’s one of the most powerful feelings that you can experience in your life when you allow yourself to just live and be present. There is a purpose and a reason why you’re going through the tough times, you just don’t know it yet.

4. Learn From the Difficult Times and Change It Up

When finding yourself in middle of an ugly situation, pick everything apart and see what went wrong and what you could’ve done differently. You may end up learning something that helps you and eventually get a really clear picture of what you need to do to make sure you’re not in the same situation again. Or if you do find yourself in a similar situation, you already know what to do to minimize the difficulty of the situation. It’s easier getting through a difficult time when you know the chances of it happening again are slim to none.

After you identify the key takeaways from your difficult time, you just need to make a change. If it’s a change you can implement immediately, do it. You don’t want be in the middle of a difficult situation longer than necessary. If it’s something that you can’t implement right now, take note of it so you can use it when the situation calls for it. But it’s pointless to learn from the difficult times if what you learned doesn’t directly affect your actions.

Embrace the difficulties and struggles that life hands you because in every tough times there’s a silver lining in each one of them. You’re a lot more resilient than you give yourself credit for.

5. Be Grateful

Gratitude means showing appreciation for all the good in your life, instead of focusing on the negative. Look to the ones you have rather than the ones you don’t. Think of everything in your life that you’re glad for having or of one person you’re most grateful for and let them know why you’re so thankful for having them.

The difficult time you’re going through will start to seem less significant when it’s compared to everything that’s going right in your life.

6. Realize You’ve Come a Long Way

Sometimes we get so focused on the long road ahead, that we never look back to see what we’ve already traveled. Give yourself credit for everything you’ve already done and it will give yourself a confidence boost when you realize that you’ve already made so much progress and the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter.

7. Be With the Right People

Having the right people around you is one of the most important things you can do for yourself when the times get tough. Surround yourself with people who are loving, caring, honest, and available.

You need them to be loving because a little love always makes the bad days seem a little brighter. You need them to be caring and honest because it helps to have someone who cares about your well being as much as you do and someone who can look you in the eye and tell you truth. And you need them to be available. When you pick up the phone looking for some compassion or honesty, it helps to have someone who’s actually going to answer.

It helps to have someone who understands what it is that you’re going through and can relate to your situation. If you can find a community who has been through what you’re going through, you can find out how they made it and then apply that to your own life.

8. Be Kind and Love Yourself

You need to care for yourself to survive tough times. Take a walk through the park, lift some weights, read an amazing book, travel with friends. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something that gets your mind and body engaged at a higher level than wallowing in self pity.

9. Forgive

If someone else is at fault for the bad situation you find yourself in, the natural response is to harbor anger or resentment towards that person. By way then you would feel better, because now instead of focusing on the negative feelings you have toward that person, you can focus on moving forward.

10. Do something that makes you happy

The last, but certainly not least, way to get through the tough times is to do something that makes you happy. What makes you happy? Pull out a sheet of paper and write it down, right now. Don’t wait until later. Brainstorm 10 things that fill you with joy and elation. Devote times for doing those things.

The wisest, most loving, and well rounded people are those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair. 

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