A Simple Technique to Help You Deal With Difficult Life Situations

I am a strong believer that the first thing you must achieve in order to have the life you want is emotional balance. I also believe that the only way out of emotions is through them. Pushing them down or suppressing them will not work.

Some say: “Living by your emotions and making decisions based on your emotions will never allow you to grow and succeed in the way that you deserve”. I say that could be true because you will continually attract more and more negatives into your life if your thoughts and feelings are largely negative. However, if you begin to adopt a different attitude, an attitude of learning from what is happening, you can begin to climb out of your negative spiral.

If you are not at peace with yourself and grateful for the blessings that you do have, you may become stuck in an unhealthy cycle of thoughts that will continue to keep you unhappy. Most likely your relationships and everything else in your life will be affected by this kind of upset balance.

If your negative emotions are controlling your life, many times you will feel as if you are out of control and you have no say over anything that happens in your life – like a victim of life.

Here is a simple yet powerful exercise that can help you release negativity and turn your life around. I call this exercise the ‘Find the Gift’ exercise.

Find-the-Gift Exercise

This exercise involves looking at a situation from all different angles. Finding out the negatives that the situation presents and also the positives as in what you can learn from this situation.

You can use this exercise when:

  • You’re in a situation you don’t want to be in.
  • You feel stuck in negativity.
  • You feel like a victim.

Here’s how it works:

1. Current Picture: Write your current picture in 3 sentences or less. The current picturecan be a situation in the present or something from the past that still has a negative charge, i.e. something that still elicits a negative emotional reaction when you think of it, or when you are in the presence of that person or situation.

2. Negatives Versus Positives Write 4 or 5 negatives about the situation on the left and 4 or 5 things you learned and/or gifts you received from the situation. A gift may be an actual object but most likely will be an unexpected benefit or something you’ve learned about yourself or life. The number of negatives and learning/gifts may or may not be equal.

3. New Picture After you finish your chart, a recap of the learning and gifts can be helpful. I call that the New Picture. Take a moment to recap your learning now or let it emerge in the following hours, days or weeks and go back to write it down then.

Here’s a real life example:

Current Picture: Several years ago I moved to Las Vegas because my husband got a great job opportunity. It’s one of the last places on earth I would have chosen to live. Moving away from most of my closest support system was very difficult because I’m a gregarious person.

Negatives versus what I learned from this situation:

Negatives Learning and gifts
1: Hate heat and miss the climate in California. 1: Found the austere and uncluttered topography in Las Vegas a healing environment.
2: Don’t see enough green vegetation. 2: Found a raw foods restaurant and support group. Raw foods has been a great way to do some bodily healing.
3: Know very few people. 3: Get to experience and enjoy working in a nurturing, at-home environment for the first time in my life.
4: Stressed from having moved twice in 15 months. 4: More of an opportunity to be with the Real Me without the distractions that I used to create for myself like filling up my time with other people.
5: No escape from smokers in public places. I’m highly allergic. 5: Get to practice that nobody gets to be wrong-even Las Vegas.
6: Don’t even like saying I’m from Las Vegas because people might think I’m into “sin” and gambling or that I’m (God forbid) superficial.  

Please note: The number of negatives and learning/gifts may not and don’t have to be equal.

New Picture: Living in Las Vegas served me perfectly to find more of the Real Me . It has made even the 120 degree heat seem ideal for this business of changing my life. If I began to slip into or get stuck in any groans and moans, I easily got my positive attitude back by using this tool again. Much of the time, it’s become second nature to me. If I find myself resistant to using this tool, I ask my buddy or coach for help.

Benefits of This Technique

Here are the amazing benefits you can reap from using this technique.

  • You’ll step out of victim-hood into your powerful authentic self.
  • You’ll have an effective tool for problem-solving and guidance.
  • You’ll be more creative.
  • You’ll increase your insights and understanding about yourself and others.
  • You’ll have a lot more fun dealing with the difficulties of life.
  • You’ll be able to quickly jump to the learning about your life without going through all these steps.

This technique has helped me a lot in life and I hope this helps you too.

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About the Author
Maia Berens is the founder of You University. A coaching program that combines principles of forgiveness with practical emotional tools so you can leave the past behind and move towards creating the life of your dreams.
About Outofstress
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