Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Coping when the stress is high
Disruptive, rapid change is today’s new normal. Change comes in waves and sometimes tsunamis. There is a storm we have collectively been experiencing these past months. As uncertainty and stress are heightened, our go to coping mechanism when dealing with challenging situations differs. It could be spending time with family or friends, being active, talking, reflecting, spirituality or one of many other stress management techniques. 2020 has us dealing with an intense crisis - one that takes many months to recover from.
How do you cope with times when stress is significant or persistent?
This is a blog I wrote during a personal time of stress for my family. I wanted to refresh and re-share it to offer a perspective to get you through a stressful time. I believe it comes down to finding the silver lining - no matter how challenging a situation might be - my core philosophy is engaging a mindset of getting through to the other side of the situation and more importantly, understanding that you can find the positive in the negative. Finding the positive in the negative is the attitude, or the mindset, you use. You may find the silver lining in the midst of the chaos or it may be post reflection that it strikes you. I believe there is a silver lining to be found. I find comfort in looking for the silver lining.
Times of uncertainty can shake our confidence and faith - this is a point in time and not the end.
Most of us would assume that the essence of resilience is something far greater than optimism or seeking the silver lining. But some people are natural seekers of the silver lining. Always working on mindset gets them out of rumination and dwelling on the setback or negative impact that might occur.
It takes serious fighting ability to shut down our default negative view of setbacks and tough times.
Where does one start?
Life happens. Tough times happen. How do you help yourself get through them?
Finding mechanisms that will restore your energy rather than drain your energy is essential. Stress and negativity will continue to persist and drain you. Hope, optimism, and a belief in a better future state will sustain you. Find the draw to tap into coping. Be open to experimenting to find your coping mechanism. Our bodies and personalities are unique to us and the body is a complex machine to work with. Give yourself forgiveness for the attempts at landing on what works for you.
When you are going through tough times, it is important to be surrounded by support.
During tough times, family and friends become your support community and there’s a role for everybody to play. You may reach that awkward point where their helpfulness could in fact not be helpful. Marshall Goldsmith has a great discipline of “FeedForward”. The concept surrounds an approach communicating to your support system how they can help you rather than what is not working. It means setting expectations for the future. This way you will build a strong supportive community that knows how to help you.
Of the all the tough times in my life, there is a silver lining story I hold prominent and dear to my memories. If you find it difficult to find your silver lining, keep your eyes, mind, and heart open for what may be there and what will get you through the tough times.
My current state has me continuing to look for the silver lining and I take great comfort and sustain my energy in knowing that I will find it. I see glimmers of it and that keeps me resolute. I am hyper-focused on ensuring my family members get all my love and consistent support to see them through to their own silver lining to what is collectively being experienced.
Winston Churchill said,
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
The positive emotions that come from an optimistic approach broaden and builds our endurance to uncertain times and increases resilience by focusing on the silver lining.
Embrace your tough times. Hold your community close and remain optimistic for a turning point. Focus on finding your silver lining.
Lisa W. Haydon
Lisa W. Haydon is a high business acumen leader, credentialed sales professional, and executive coach. Lisa has led teams and clients in industries such as banking, commercial lending, capital markets, technology, consulting, and professional services. Her hands-on experience in executing change and growth mandates enhances client results. She is known for delivering transformational results with diagnostic tools, consulting and coaching.
Lisa is the founder of Pivotal Coaching, which specializes in sales effectiveness and leadership development services for companies optimistic and ambitious about growth. More information is available on the Pivotal Coaching website. For more on its proprietary diagnostic tool, visit our services page.