Too often, we get bogged down in the negative aspects of our lives and forget to focus on the positives. It’s time to change that. In order to be truly happy, we need to learn how to focus on solutions instead of problems. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
I can’t decide what is worse; that we as a society have become increasingly reliant on prescription drugs to treat our mental ills, or that we have legalized drugs for certain behaviors that have been proven to damage the brain’s neurotransmitters just as much as illegal street drugs.
Either way, we can’t deny that substance abuse and addiction are at an all-time high right now in the United States, with no end in sight on this path of destruction. You may be reading this article on the heels of a recent tragedy, or perhaps you are more fortunate and reading this as you prepare for work.
I am sure that most of us have struggled with some sort of addiction in our lives. Whether it was with alcohol during college, over-the-counter medications after an injury, or maybe even pornography, it is more than likely that you have tried to find relief for some sort of pain or discomfort through an outside substance or activity that was unhealthy.
The unfortunate thing about many addictions is the fact that they are often used as coping mechanisms for very real, but difficult to face problems.
We live in a culture of fast-paced lives and easy solutions to life’s problems. The problem with this mindset is that it lends itself to a false sense of reality and an avoidance of the true issues at hand.
I am just as guilty of this as the next person, so please do not take this as some finger-pointing… we have all been in this difficult spot at some point in our lives for different reasons and in different ways.
If you truly want to start living for yourself and take control of your life, now is the time to find those root causes and solve those problems. Facing those difficult challenges head on will not only help you find your “true self” but it will also help give you the strength to continue on when times get tough.
When you are faced with loss or challenges, it can be tough to know how to get up and move past the pain. It is important to remember three things during times like these:
- You are not alone
- The beginning is always the hardest part
- One step at a time.
When you feel like your world is falling apart and you don’t know how to cope with the pain, know that there are many others who have been in your shoes and can relate to your situation. It helps to know that we all suffer at some point, but out of those struggles comes growth and lessons about life that we would never have been able to learn otherwise.
It’s time to start living your life for YOU…
Many of us spend our lives trying to please everyone else, from the parents who raised us, to the friends we keep around us, and even bosses that seem impossible to please. This constant need for approval often leads us into a trap where we lose sight of what it is that we want for ourselves.
It’s time to stop living for other people and start living for yourself! You can’t control what others say or do nor should you be expected to; they are their own individuals with their own needs, wants, and desires.
Having your life revolve around the expectations of others can cause a lot of stress and unhappiness in your life. Stop allowing other people to define you and allow yourself the freedom to discover just what it is that makes you happy!
Laugh at Yourself More
One thing that many people take for granted is the ability to laugh at themselves. In a world where everyone seems to be running off of pure adrenaline, it can be hard to slow down enough to catch up with ourselves.
Many times the problems that we are dealing with in our lives are not so serious that they require a large amount of fear or stress, yet they seem so grave.
- Start taking yourself less seriously and become aware of the small things in life.
- Start making an effort to laugh at your own mistakes.
- Be kinder to yourself when you are having a hard time with something.
- Last, but not least, allow yourself the freedom to enjoy little things in life.
If you are feeling worn down by life’s struggles or just need someone to talk to about your problems, contact a therapist to get some Quality Therapy or find friends online who can relate to these feelings.
Now, I don’t want you to read all of this and think that I’m saying this is easy. Nothing in life is easy, especially the loss of someone we love, or challenging situations. Stress is a reality for so many people out there right now.
We’re facing situations that most of us aren’t used to. The supply chain is messed up, some areas are lacking proper food in the stores, and even doctors’ offices are being held up so many can’t get the care they need; at least this is what I’m hearing from friends all over the United States.
So remember that my advice and experiences are shared from my perspective and my experiences. I am coming from a place where I am mostly healed from the situation and continue to work on personal growth so it doesn’t happen again.
If all you can do today is get up and read this, then go on with your day? That’s progress.
Be realistic with yourself, set tiny actionable steps for each day to read a self-help book or talk to a friend so that you’re able to work through these trying times to get to the other side a stronger, more vibrate version of yourself. You can do it, just put one foot in front of the other and lend yourself a little forgiveness if you can’t “do it all” today.
What to do if you can’t find the strength right now?
I feel I must address this topic from a personal level now, such as sharing one situation that happened in life. This situation was extremely difficult to move forward from, at least in my mind. With that being said, I knew that the situation happened for a reason.
At first, I honestly felt broken, shattered into a million pieces, lost, confused, and so many other emotions that it was difficult to find the strength right away & grasp the reality of it all until I paused later on to work through it.
I’ve worked hard with Quality Therapy, reading self-help books like this one among others, and talking to online friends who’ve experienced a similar situation. These things combined together helped me to focus on a solution for increased happiness so that I could first get my kids to a safe place, get as much of our stuff to storage (I couldn’t afford a large one, so we sadly left so much behind), and then get myself somewhere to work on solutions for increased happiness.
You see, I was in an unhealthy relationship but I fell hard in that relationship, to be honest. I thought it was a pretty great relationship even though looking back I recall having the heeby jeebies from day one. He never respected boundaries, showing up at 5 am one morning to go to a doctor’s appointment for my kid when he never even met my kid at that point. Getting upset with me because I was meeting my kid’s dad for said appointment, as we always did in those days for co-parenting.
Showing up at my work unexpectedly, after only being friends who talked on the phone and virtually. That didn’t make me so creeped out at first, I was more in shock. I remember him giving me flowers, and maybe some cash that day to help me out. One thing I remember is that he always wanted to give people money or things to “help them out”, even if the person didn’t ask for help or need help.
There were a lot of things that I first saw as “kind” but later found it was a lack of respect of boundaries among other things, and that my first gut instincts giving me stomach aches about this person, were indeed correct. Finally, things all went to chaos so to speak and I got the strength to remember my true self and move forward.
I did what I said, figured out where my kids would go, and figured out how to get as much stuff as I could out of the place, helped the landlords find a new tenant, and went to stay at a family member’s house while my kids stayed at their Dads’ homes. I walked away from one of my favorite rental homes, I walked away from a company I helped build but never had a written contract to keep, and I walked away from the life I had grown to live scared in.
It was a scary time if I think back, but as I said above you just focus on solutions for increased happiness, then look back and reflect. Once I was safe, the kids were safe and we were in a place to pause and reflect …
I took time to pause and reflect I turned to alcohol. Ha! Yes, you see, not even people who are really good at solutions and looking to the bright side of things are safe from the hands of addiction.
Although, I did pull myself out of it, and to this day I barely drink alcohol. Why? Because I refuse to slink into that as a coping mechanism, plus it makes me feel like someone I am not.
I’m at a place where I can occasionally enjoy a drink, but I stay focused on never allowing that to become a coping mechanism as I have used it that way my entire life … I started drinking alcohol at a young age and since then have always used it to cope.
So how do you find the strength in the moment so you can reflect later?
Mostly my kids, mainly that amazing firstborn I have, were the way I found my strength, that and my family telling me that I wasn’t being me. I had a friend and family members remind me WHO I WAS and well that sort of whacked me into solution mode during this whole fiasco.
I firmly believe you do need a support system, even if it’s just someone who is good at providing a shoulder to cry on.
Yes, I did have a therapist who was helping me see the unhealthy and dangerous patterns I was experiencing with that person, but it was up to me to find the solution and get out of there.
They wouldn’t do a restraining order until he committed a crime and was seen as a risk to my family, but at least I tried to get one when I first become physically scared. So I can’t say a restraining order will always be on the table, it’s hard to get one in some states.
With that being said, here are some ways to find the strength to focus on solutions for increased happiness so that later you can work on the therapeutic side of moving forward from trauma and difficult challenges in life:
- Get Quality Therapy
- Read self-help books that pertain to what you’re going through, Psychopath Free was my first go-to book during this time. Later, it was The Best Yes.
- Be open about what you’re going through online with trusted virtual friends.
- If you feel comfortable, reach out to family members who have been there for you in the past. Remember they cannot solve this, but they can be a supportive voice to whack you into solution mode to pull through this.
- Lastly, trust your instincts.
You see if I had just trusted my instincts and my firstborn child in the first place? I wouldn’t have lived in this situation for as long as I did. He just had a way of gaslighting and brainwashing me. It was the most bizarre and eye-opening situation of my life. I had no idea that gaslighting and brainwashing people you say you love was “a thing”.
In conclusion, we all face difficult situations. Some are of no fault of others or our own, such as the loss of someone we love, others are situations that we could have stopped if we had just listened to our trusted internal voice of reasoning or loved ones who care. Either way, I know that unpredictable situations will happen to the best of us, but you can’t move forward from them without first working on solutions to make sure you’re strong enough to handle life again without unhealthy coping mechanisms.
I trust you’ll use this information I shared today wisely and find a way to learn to love life a bit more and become a solution driven person for increased happiness in life.