“Too many people miss the silver lining because they are expecting gold.” (Maurice Setter) The past few months have been stressful and anxiety provoking for many people. Changes to schedules and routines, parents working overtime to balance jobs and remote learning, unemployment, money problems, too much family time, feeling alone, the list could go on and on. It’s certainly not easy, but then again what is? So, how are you handling things? Have you found your silver lining? It sounds like an easy thing to do, but not for everyone. So, the question is, how do you find the silver lining in difficult situations?
Stop focusing on what you can’t control and focus on what you can: Stop fixating on the things you have no control over. Instead, accept the situation and think about how you can make the best of it. How can you make your life fulfilling during this time? Think of a plan and start taking some control over the situation.
Allow yourself to acknowledge negative feelings -- just not for too long: You can’t control your feelings, but you can control how you react to them. Give yourself a minute to feel what you're feeling, allow time to pass and then move on. Staying in a place of negative thoughts that go in circles isn’t good for you and makes you more susceptible to anxiety and depression.
Practice thinking about the positive aspects of the situation: Even in the toughest situations, there is always something you can learn, gain or grow from. Reflect on these things rather than over-focusing on the negative aspects of the situation. I say practice because it’s unlikely that you will totally change negative thought patterns overnight. It takes time, patience, realistic expectations and motivation to make lasting changes. Once you’re able to change your automatic thinking, the easier it becomes to find the silver lining.
Put things into perspective: It’s hard to work from home, watch your children and provide support for remote learning; but couldn’t things be worse? Perspective helps keep us in check!
Work on yourself: Think about the aspects of the situation that you’re struggling with. What do they reveal about yourself? For example, if you're wondering how you’re going to stay put in the house for weeks because your typically on-the-go, look at this as an opportunity to learn how to slow down.
Give yourself the power: Remember that you have the power within yourself to find the silver lining in even the worst of situations, just don’t expect that it will always be easy.
Just to be real, life is full of difficult, stressful, disappointing and challenging situations. You can focus on how these situations are irritating, or you can acknowledge that you're annoyed and then try to find the silver lining. If you have difficulty finding the silver lining in situations on your own, it’s okay, the good news is you're never too old or too negative to make a change -- you see what I did there, I found the silver lining 😉
At A Little Counseling, we found our silver lining through telehealth sessions. We decided to give it our all and translate our play therapy, child and adolescent counseling program into telehealth sessions. So far, it’s been going better than we all expected and we feel so lucky to have the opportunity to reach people at home! So, how are you going to come out stronger?