“Let’s not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress.” Albert Einstein

Life has a way of kicking us when we are down. And just when we think we can’t fall any further, we get kicked again.

But it’s important to remember that setbacks, failures, and tragedies – however painful they may be – are a part of life lessons. I have always been a content person. Some people may find me too optimistic, annoyingly positive and somewhat ridiculously idealistic. My mother always engraved in me endless positivity. She always has and continues to tell me, positivity attracts positivity and negativity attracts more misery. Whatever you put out to the universe, it will come back to you.

This is why most of the time, however low and beaten I get; my perspective may be different than others. I see these difficult times as challenges and lessons of life. I feel that the luckiest people in the world are the ones who go through difficult times. Why is that, you may ask. Why do we have to go through difficult times to rise again? Why can’t we just be happy and have a smooth life. Well guess what, it all depends on you.

I won’t attempt comparing myself to people who die of hunger, wars or drown in the sea trying to make it from one border to the other to find shelter and a safe place to be. These are the true unsung heroes. But I will only speak of my humble experiences in my life. I do not believe that we go through harsh or difficult times as a punishment. For me, life is giving me different levels of learning, it starts at low, medium and advanced.

The more you challenge yourself and build resilience, the stronger you get. If you never go through hard times, you have not lived. It is as simple as the phrase goes, “Easy come, easy go”. We don’t have to suffer to learn. But if we do, it is important that we take it with a pinch of salt, a smile and an open heart to embrace the pain, learn and move on.

Whether we manage to find joy and success in the daily struggle of life is largely dependent on our ability to persevere through even the toughest adversity without ever giving up.
If you’re going through a rough time, finding something to give you a little lift can help you remember that life isn’t always bad. These seemingly endless stretches of fear, disappointment, pain, and heartache are just brief, insignificant moments of time that will soon pass. A little gratitude goes a long way. Be grateful for what you don’t have before what you have; you just might start seeing life differently.

I would like to share with you a few tips from that helped me during this difficult time:

  • Focus on the positives. No matter how dire a situation may be, there are always some positives you can find in it. It is our unwillingness to look at them that blind us to the brighter sides. In the book, Prisoners of Our Thoughts, the author Alex Pattakos recounted how he managed to pull a female driver to safety when he saw her school van crashed into a parked car. Then in an attempt to calm down the distraught woman, he asked her to list ten positive things about this accident. You probably thought he was insane, but they managed to list the positives which included the fact that the van and the car which she crashed into were both empty at the point of the accident. The attempt may seem absurd but it worked. The driver was calm enough to break into a smile and had probably saved herself from going into a shock. Now it is your turn, think of ten positive things that would come out of this crises.
  • Find your own meditation method. Meditate on what really happened and your response to the crisis. Learn to see the crisis for what it really is. Begin by practicing breathing meditation, and then ask yourself: “What has really happened in spite of what have been reported? Are my fears and worries real or imaginary? If they are real, what can I do about them?” It is crucial to list your fears and worries causing your anxiety, rather than running away from them. Understanding that each one has a distinct start and end, may help you breakdown the big problem into smaller challenges that you can tackle day by day.
  • Give thanks and gratitude. Having listed the positives you can think of, give thanks for the current situation as well as the things that you already have. For one, things could be a lot worse! It won’t be easy to be thankful in the face of harsh challenges, but focusing on what you do have, instead of what you have lost, will put you in a better position to solve problems on hands than being in a self-pity and sorrowful state. Start a daily gratitude journal – it will help you set the momentum.
  • Reach out to others. Do you know of people who might be badly affected by the crisis? Some may have lost their jobs because their companies were put out of business, while others may have lost family members without having the chance to say goodbye due to the obligatory distance. Talk to them, listen, and if it is within your means, offer your help, however small it may be. Helping others who are less fortunate than you also helps you to put things in perspective and warms your heart. And who knows, they may be the ones who lend you a helping hand when the table is turned the next time.
  • Get enough sleep. During stressful time, we’re likely to skip on sleep whether voluntary or not. From experience, you need more quality sleep during stressful times than ever so that you can remain clear-headed, energetic and focused to figure out your next moves.
  • Quit being a victim. It is often easier to assume the role of a victim during tough times than taking responsibilities for yourself. But doing so will only prolong your suffering and put off people who may be able to help you out. Letting go of the victim label also frees you from resentment and bitterness which will only jam up the creative energies you need to get out of the mess.
  • STOP the bad news intake. Being constantly fed with gloomy news is enough to blur our judgment, fill up our hearts with fear and turn on the panic mode. Hearing bad news once is enough, not ten times of the same news in different versions from every gadget that you own.
  • Join forces with others. When bad things happen, it is easy to become close-minded. But chances are, you are not alone during difficult times. There are likely to be many people who feel the same way as you do even though they may not voice out loud. The many talented friends that you will make during hard times could become lifetime friendships, and even turn into unexpected help in the future. And if you are an employer, this is a great time to boost your business with skillful and experienced people to help you ride out the crisis.
  • Get close to nature. Finnish researchers found that spending time in your favorite outdoor area and woodlands are more relaxing and restorative than time spent in your favorite urban settings or city parks. Taking a mindful walk, reconnect with nature, with water, with mountains – look out of your window into the horizon. Sometimes just listening to the sound of the birds at an early morning sun rise, can change your entire day mood. I found it a great way to clear the mind and regain mental balance.
  • Re-evaluate the meaning of your life. Tough times present hard but valuable lessons that force us to re-evaluate the meanings we have been attaching to our lives. Ask yourself: “Do the meanings and goals I’ve been living by before the crisis really worthwhile? Through this crisis, what are the things that I’ve found to be really important? What are my priorities? And what are those that are not as precious as what I once thought to be?”