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Faith WoodLife is pretty good at throwing curveballs, but the curveballs that come your way vary in destructiveness and severity. Regardless, it is impossible to escape the impact. It could be the sudden death of a loved one. The crumbling of your marriage or relationship. The financial catastrophe that has ruined your sense of security.

And sometimes, those curveballs are smaller but no less challenging. Last week, for example, I walked back to my vehicle after having been parked for just over an hour and discovered that someone/something had shattered the passenger side mirror. Although I had other plans, the rest of my day was spent sitting on hold with insurance companies in an effort to file a claim.

Curveballs leave your life feeling flipped-turned upside down. Some of them deprive you of a normal source of reassurance and comfort, while others disrupt the daily routine or impact your income.

The question now is, how do you cope when your life has been turned upside down?

Perhaps these suggestions will help you deal with the heartbreak, trauma, stress, and disappointment that comes when your life (or your day) is turned upside down.


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  • Face Your Feelings

We all react differently to stress, but for most of us, dealing with strong emotions makes it difficult to maintain rationality. You are likely to behave in a way you would not normally.

Therefore, facing up to your feelings is the first step to resolving the heartbreak associated with life’s traumas and preventing impaired judgment. When you face your feelings, you grow to accept that now may not be the right time to make major decisions. This insight will help you deal with the raft of emotions you’re attempting to ride.

  • Focus On Your Locus of Control

The world has conditioned us with a terrible habit; the idea that when something terrible occurs, someone is to blame. There can be no catastrophe without blame.

And when no external blame is available, we turn the blame inwards and hold ourselves responsible. While it isn’t always entirely incorrect, it is never a healthy response to having your world turned upside down.

What is done is done; rehashing it will not serve you well. Your best bet is to focus on your locus of control. You can control your reactions and responses, steering your life back in a positive direction. No blame, just focus.

  • Seek Support

Unfortunately, one of the common reactions we have to difficulty in life is to grin and bear it. But the idea that a stiff upper lip will carry you through and you can do it on your own is patently false. Your support network is more important than it has ever been. Do not be afraid to reach out to your friends and family to help you overcome this challenge.

If you are facing financial hardship, don’t be afraid to find support in your community from other people in your position. If you’re dealing with loss, reach out to a support group experiencing the same pain and upset you are.

  • Self-Care

Finally, don’t forget to look after yourself and practice self-care. How would you respond if someone you love was going through the same situation you find yourself in now? Don’t withhold that same compassion and empathy from yourself.

If you need to take time to yourself, then take time for yourself. If you feel better when surrounded by friends’ laughter, surround yourself with the laughter of friends. If organizing your life and addressing the problem head-on lifts your spirits, then do it. Look after yourself.

Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications. 

For interview requests, click here.

The opinions expressed by our columnists and contributors are theirs alone and do not inherently or expressly reflect the views of our publication.

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