5 Tips for Handling Life’s Storms

February 13, 2024
3 mins read

Hey, you, take a deep breath. Now, we will handle Life’s Storms and Rise & Shine together. We will navigate challenges with Strength and Grace. But how? At least we must try.

We’ve all been there – staring down the abyss of a seemingly endless bad day, week, or even month. Life throws punches, and sometimes, it feels like we’re receiving a never-ending boxing match. But here’s the truth: bad days don’t last forever. And even though your spirit might feel bruised, you are stronger than you think.

Here’s a dose of sisterhood solidarity, psychological insights, and a sprinkle of science to help you navigate the storm:

  1. Acknowledge the suck. Trying to force positivity onto negativity breeds resentment. Instead, validate your feelings. Say, “This situation is tough, and feeling down is okay.” Recognizing your emotions takes the power away from them, allowing you to process and move forward.

Science says: Studies by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of “How Emotions are Made” suggest that acknowledging your emotions helps your brain accurately interpret them, leading to calmer and more regulated reactions.

  1. Reframe your perspective. Our brains love negativity bias. Challenge this by rephrasing challenges. Instead of, “I failed,” try, “This attempt didn’t work, but I learned valuable lessons.” This growth mindset fosters resilience and empowers you to see setbacks as stepping stones, not roadblocks.

Science says: Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on growth mindset shows that individuals with this mindset are more likely to bounce back from setbacks, persist in facing challenges, and achieve their goals.

  1. Practice self-compassion. You wouldn’t beat up a friend going through a hard time, so why do it to yourself? Treat yourself with the same kindness and understanding you offer others. Take a soothing bath, write in a journal, or talk to a supportive friend.

Science says: As Kristin Neff, author of “Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself” explains, self-compassion activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promoting feelings of calm and safety and reducing stress and anxiety.

  1. Remember, you’re not alone. This feeling of isolation is a common human experience. But trust me, sister, you are surrounded by a community of women who understand and have faced (and overcome) similar challenges. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist – connection is a powerful antidote to loneliness.

Science says: Research by UCLA psychologist Matthew Lieberman (author of “Social: Why We Need Each Other and How to Build a Life Together”) demonstrates that social connection is essential for our mental and physical well-being. Feeling connected to others reduces stress, boosts mood, and strengthens our immune system.

  1. Celebrate small wins. Don’t wait for monumental victories to acknowledge your progress. Did you get out of bed today? Cooked a healthy meal? Took a walk in nature? These “micro-victories” add up and remind you of your inner strength and resilience.

Science says: Celebrating small wins activates the reward system in your brain, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and motivation. This positive reinforcement cycle encourages you to continue progressing, even when faced with challenges.

Bonus Tip: Tap into your power. Science shows that simply adopting a confident posture can boost your mood and self-esteem. Stand tall, shoulders back, head held high. Take power poses throughout the day – you’ll be surprised how it shifts your perspective.

Science says: Research by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, author of “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Moments” demonstrates that power poses can increase testosterone, associated with dominance and power, and decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to increased confidence and reduced anxiety.

Remember, this storm will pass. You carry within you the strength and wisdom to weather any hardship. Trust yourself, lean on your community, and embrace the journey. We are in this together, and together, we rise.

From the author:
My friend, listen closely. This article started as my own pep talk, scribbled on a napkin during a particularly stormy day a while ago. You see, even we “strong women” have moments where the world feels like it’s caving in. But I discovered the secret: sharing the struggle makes it lighter. So, consider this a message passed between sisters, a reminder that you’re not alone in the trenches. We rise together, fall together, and weather the storms together. Now, get out there and conquer your day – one small win, one power pose, and one supportive connection at a time. Remember, we’re in this beautiful, messy journey called life, side by side. Big hugs, and don’t forget to breathe!