How to Deal With a Hard Life

Four Methods:Finding Low-Stress SolutionsTaking Good Care of YourselfFinding Help During Hard TimesReaching Inward for Perspective

Life presents us with many hardships to be overcome.[1] Dealing with hard life situations can be daunting. Emotions like fear, anger, grief, and sadness often go with hard life situations.[2] Coping with such emotions and situations is not easy.[3] Yet people have developed many useful approaches to dealing with hard life situations. These solutions include self care, friendship, asking for help, therapy, spirituality, meditation, and journaling.[4]

Method 1
Finding Low-Stress Solutions

  1. Image titled Deal With a Hard Life Step 1
    Figure out what you can do about your situation. Give yourself a few minutes to reflect on your situation and figure out a plan of action. Ask yourself, is this a situation I can fix? Is this a life situation that calls for patience? Or is this a situation that I need to walk away from? Once you have clarity about what you can do about it, you will feel better about moving forward.[5]
  2. 2
    List possible solutions to your problems. Give yourself 5 minutes to imagine as many possible solutions as you can come up with. Review the list and consider which options are best.
    • Avoid searching in vein for the perfect solution to your problem. Instead, go for solutions that will work well given the circumstances.[6]
  3. 3
    Make a plan to deal with your hard life. Using the approaches you have come up with, make a plan for concrete and low stress solutions to your difficult situation.[7] Be clear and specific about your intentions and plans for change.[8]
    • Try starting with a plan to change small things in your life.[9] For instance, if you want to get in good physical condition, start with a plan to fit exercise into your calendar for the week.
    • Try the act, learn, build, repeat model. Life is full unexpected circumstances. Yet, we can still make plans to achieve our aspirations, take action on those plans, and learn from our experiences.[10]
  4. Image titled Deal With a Hard Life Step 2
    Move on! You will have to move on with your life. Don’t let difficult life situations hold you back forever. Try to let go of the emotional baggage and move forward with your relationships and career.[11]

Method 2
Taking Good Care of Yourself

  1. 1
    Rest. Getting through a difficult life situation can feel like an endurance event. Take fifteen minute naps during the day.[12] There are numerous benefits of rest such as improved memory and lower stress.[13]
    • If you have a hard time falling asleep, try a relaxation technique.[14] For instance, try slowly tensing and then relaxing all of the muscles in your body. Start with the toes and move up to the shoulders and neck.[15]
  2. 2
    Exercise. Go to your local gym, take a swim, or a walk around the block. Just fifteen minutes a day can help you cope with your difficult life situation.[16] In addition, exercise helps to improve your mood, lower stress, and strengthen your immune system.[17]
    • For instance, try a fifteen minute skipping rope routine.[18]
  3. 3
    Meditate to reduce stress. Practicing meditation can help you reduce stress, relax, and gain perspective on tough emotions.[19] Find a quiet place to sit. Set your eyes in front of you, half closed, and watch your breathing for a few minutes.[20]
    • It helps to wear relaxed clothing.[21]
  4. 4
    Let yourself laugh. Give yourself permission to laugh at times, even if things seem dire.[22] It is not known whether laughter itself helps people feel better. It may be things that go along with it like friends and a positive attitude. Yet, it can't hurt! It seems to produce similar benefits to exercise.[23]
  5. 5
    Give yourself 15 minutes to spend time with your feelings. If you are having a hard time dealing with grief, set aside a few minutes at the end of the day when you know you can just be sad.[24]
    • If you are dealing with grief, try a combination of Talking, Exercising, Artistic expression, Recording or writing experiences and Sobbing (i.e., TEARS). The combination of these approaches can help you deal with grief.[25]

Method 3
Finding Help During Hard Times

  1. Image titled Be Bright and Sunny Step 1
    Ask for help and be open to receiving it. Friends, family, coworkers, support groups, spiritual groups, or even higher powers may help. You need to be open to receiving help in whatever form it takes.[26]
  2. 2
    Talk to friends. Social bonds increase our well being. Friends may offer insights that you would never think of. They can offer moral support, an attentive ear and friendly advice.[27]
    • Make new friends. Of course, making new friends as an adult can be difficult. Try reconnecting to your core passions, and see what friendships emerge.[28]
  3. 3
    Find a good therapist. You might want to find a therapist such as a psychologist to talk about your difficult life event.[29] Ask your physician, family, friends, or your community mental health centre for therapy recommendations. There are many kinds of therapists such as social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Choose one you can trust, who is patient and non judgmental.[30] A good therapist can help you get back on your feet.[31]
    • Try calling the psychology department at the local university and asking for a recommendation.[32]
    • If you are moving to a new city, ask your existing therapist if they know anybody there.[33]
  4. Image titled Be Bright and Sunny Step 6
    Avoid spending time with people who make you feel worse. If there are toxic people in your life, you need to avoid spending time with them.[34]

Method 4
Reaching Inward for Perspective

  1. 1
    Avoid confusing yourself with your trauma. Remember that you are not the difficult situation in your life. You are not your job loss or your divorce.[35] Avoid negative self talk such as blaming yourself for everything that is wrong in your life.[36]
    • Be kind to yourself. For instance, don't say anything to yourself that you wouldn't say to somebody else.[37]
  2. 2
    Practice gratitude. Be grateful for all the little things like a friend calling you or the sun shining. There is always something to be grateful for.[38]
    • Start with something simple. If the sun comes out, be grateful for nice weather. If you are free of illness, be grateful for your health. If your heart is still ticking, be grateful for being alive.
  3. 3
    Connect to your spiritual side. Reach into deeper levels of awareness to find solutions to your life.[39] If you have a spiritual practice, now is an opportunity to explore it further.[40]
  4. 4
    Write about the difficult situation in your journal. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. Just express your feelings about the situation in your own words.[41]
    • Give yourself some quiet time before journaling. For instance, you might want to light a candle and relax for a minute.[42]


  • Remember to do the necessary things you have to do to relieve your stress.
  • Find something you enjoy doing like music, sports etc.
  • Get a positive attitude!
  • Meditate or exercise everyday. It helps get the stress out. Don't hold it in!
  • Focus on the good things in your life.
  • Read a book to get things off your mind.


  • Don't take your anger out on a living thing!
  • Depression may arise from a very stressful or hard life, especially if the underlying problem is long-term. If you feel you may be sinking into depression, find someone to talk to before it gets worse. Avoid self-harm at all costs.
  • Make sure your friends are ones you can trust.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (39)

Article Info

Categories: Managing Negative Feelings