4 Tips to get through a bad time

‘What a week 2020 has been’, was the most relatable thing I’ve read on the Internet this year. Who else agrees? I’ve had so many downs this year already that it was just overwhelming and surprising at the same time. But then when you suddenly remember a quote from a book you read, it just all turns out to be ‘not too bad’ afterall. Likewise, I recalled these 4 advises to get through my tough times and I thought why not share them.

These advises are quite short and sweet so it’s easy to remember—

  1. Develop a personal goal/s to achieve by the end of the year.
  2. Recall the impermanent nature of things
  3. Be grateful
  4. Think good of others

Let us look at the first point. Yes it’s boring. We’ve all heard about this — writing your new year resolutions on a piece of paper but who actually does it? Do you end up following it? Personally I’m not a person who writes on paper much, so my new year resolutions are in my head. For example last year I had two resolutions — to graduate with a good WAM and to step out of my comfort zone. But how does it help you get through difficult situations? Here’s the thing. When you have goals set to achieve within a time frame, nothing can stop you. No failure, no procrastination, no poor time management skills or not even a person who doesn’t believe in you can stop you, because right mindfulness and right determination will remind you ‘these are obstacles I’m facing. I need to find a way to get over this obstacle’. It could be by distancing yourself from negative people, or by identifying what you learnt from your failure and realizing that everyone goes through failure and cultivating strength. To develop mindfulness take a look at my previous article on meditation.

This second point maybe unfamiliar for many of you and you may wonder what exactly does this mean? The impermanent nature of everything in this world was a wise realization by the Buddha. Buddha advised people to ‘see things as they really are’ by understanding three basic facts of existence. One of those facts is to see everything in existence as ‘impermanent and subject to change’. Hence someone going through a difficult situation should think ‘what I’m going through is not permanent, I’ll be happy once again, things will be normal once again, until then I should develop patience’. Likewise someone who is wealthy or beautiful should think ‘ all this wealth is impermanent and can be destroyed in seconds, all this beauty is impermanent and fades away with age and become humble’. And even if a person who smiled at you yesterday didn’t smile at you today despite not doing them wrong, we need to recall how easily people can change. Because at the end we cannot call anything ‘mine’ if we can’t control it. Therefore nothing or no one in this world is ours because nothing is under our control

Thirdly, gratitude. Be grateful for what you are, what you have and for everything in the moment bad or good. Why do you have to be grateful even if you’re deaf? because you’re not blind or because you have people who take care of you instead of abandoning you. It’s easy to cultivate gratefulness when you think that there are people who are going through worse things than you. But we often forget to think that and become frustrated instead. For example, your dog passes away and you’re extremely upset. Firstly you can think ‘everything is impermanent and will leave from me one day’, secondly you can think that ‘there are children who have lost their parents or their partners so what I’m going through is much less worse’. Gratefulness also interrelates with being optimistic such as thinking ‘everything happens for good’ even when things are going wrong it can help you remain patient yet grateful for what you already have.

Lastly, we need to think good of others. Thinking good of even those who’ve hurt you doesn’t make you an idiot, in fact you are radiating loving kindness and non-hatred which are very wholesome qualities. The Buddha said, that those who are beautiful in this life are those that have not got angry in their past lives. Let’s take an instance. Say your partner cheated on you, how would you think good of him? We could think, ‘If only he knew how hurtful it is to be cheated on, he would never do this’. You can then start to think how he is a good person in other ways, maybe he treats his parents very well? You can then recall how karma works, and that he will one day have to face someone cheating on him because of this action and then you can have sympathy towards him. At the end you can forgive him and move on thinking ‘I too must have done this in my past lives to deserve this’.

And that sums up, on my 4 tips to remember when going through a tough situation. I hope this helped you in some way:)

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An introvert who sees life in a different way. I write on lessons and experiences that shaped me into an unusual 21 year old.

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Upeka Gunasekera

Upeka Gunasekera

An introvert who sees life in a different way. I write on lessons and experiences that shaped me into an unusual 21 year old.

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