Nancy's Health Talk Blog

Powerful Ways to Overcome Life's Challenges and Feel Stronger

Sunday, September 09, 2018

At one time or another, we all experience significant changes in our lives. But, working your way through these transitional times can be challenging and taxing to body, mind, and spirit. Yes, overcoming life challenges is a common theme I hear regularly from clients.

So, here's my first question to you: What life challenges are you facing right now?

Are you dealing with challenging family dynamics, or a financial hardship, or a serious health issue? Or perhaps you're searching to find meaning and purpose in your life.

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This leads to my second question:

How are you handling those challenges? Do you ever hear yourself saying, "Why is this happening to me? . . . I don't  have enough time . . . I don't have enough money . . . I don't have enough energy"? Well, don't despair. Sometimes it just takes shifting our mind set; it's that simple.

I interviewed few year ago, Sat Dharam Kaur, a naturopathic doctor here in Ontario. Among other things, we discussed how a person can respond to a serious health diagnosis like cancer. According to Dr. Kaur, a health crisis like cancer is a way of telling someone that they need to “get with the program—be who they're really supposed to be."

In other words, it's a wake-up call that can help a person realize that it's time to make changes and to address what isn't working in their lives.

Rather than just accepting a cancer diagnosis, we can see it as an opportunity to transform ourselves for the better. This means examining our lives to determine what gives us the most meaning and brings us the greatest joy.

It also means letting go of the things that aren't serving us well. It means not giving in to the disease by doing nothing.  

If You Could Rewind Your Life, What Would You Change?

Not long ago, someone asked me what "one" thing I would have changed if given the opportunity to reset my life back to an earlier period.

I really had to think about it because my mind immediately filled with a long list of things I would have done differently. But, here's the thing that stood out: if given a second chance, I would take more pleasure in life and stop being so hard on myself.

We women are so hard on ourselves. We feel so much pressure to look perfect and to be perfect at all times. That's an old pattern we've learned that can play over and over in our heads.

But, in Dr. Kaur's words, I got with the program. And what I realized was that, while I couldn't change the past, I had the power to change my future. Nothing in the way we live our lives is final; we have free will to change the things that aren't working for us.

I had to learn how to take pleasure and delight in life's many gifts, and how to be gentle with myself and to forgive myself. So, think about the things you'd change if you could rewind your life to make it better. And, know that you have the power to start making those changes now. 

Here are powerful things you can do to help get you through a challenging life transition. These activities, which are healing and empowering, have really helped me, as well as my clients, to find more peace and happiness in our lives.

Trust Your Intuition, Your Inner Self. Intuition is part of our inner guidance system. It's often associated with what we call "gut instincts" And when we listen to that inner voice, it can steer us in the right direction when we've made a wrong turn.  So, use your inner knowing to discover what you're tolerating in your life that you need to change.

Are you in a job or a relationship that is weighing you down? Then, start addressing these things one-by-one to make room for the good stuff coming your way. Intuition activates our creative center and helps you to recognize all of the possibilities and choices available to us in any given situation.

Enjoy Time Alone
. I’m somewhat of an introvert, and I very much need my alone time. Alone time is personal time dedicated solely to your needs. It can mean spending time exercising, enjoying a meal in silence, getting enough rest, engaging in creative activities like drawing and painting, or finding ways to manage stress such as through meditation. 

Not having enough time is the most commonly used excuse for not taking care of yourself. But, aren't you worth it? Remember that taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs is a way of honoring yourself and keeping you healthy.

Use Positive Affirmation
s. Affirmations are positive statements that describe a desired state of being. They're like ideas or stories, and they offer ways to reprogram your consciousness in order to change your reality. Beautiful and meaningful affirmations uplift our day. 

Practice Meditation. It took me a long time to get comfortable with meditation. Sometimes, I still struggle to quiet my mind; but listening to guided meditation CDs really helps.

Pray. Well-known minister Joyce Meyer says that when we pray, we open the door for God to come into our problems and situations to work on them. To pray is to let go of your belief that you are in control of your life and to give it over to something more inclusive than your own point of view.

One of my favorite books is The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity, which was written by author Catherine Ponder. It's a classic I return to over and over again because her affirmations are so powerful. She talks about how to deal with energy blocks, and she talks about divine order and truly living in faith, and how that attitude changes everything in your life for the better.

The book is about opening all of the doors and windows in your life and letting in the abundance that's already yours. It’s a basic textbook for understanding affirmations as well as manifesting good in our lives.

Practice Forgiveness.  In my interview with author Marci Shimoff, she stated, “If I were to say the one thing that we all could do to raise our happiness set-point fast, it’s forgiveness.

The more we hang on to any kind of resentment, anger, blame, or victimization, the harder it is to experience happiness. And sometimes the lack of forgiveness is towards ourselves.  It may not be toward somebody else. It may be an internal kind of a judgment or lack of forgiveness.”

Get Rid of the Clutter Around You.  Sue Rasmussen, who’s a master certified coach, talked about how your outer environment is a reflection of what’s going on inside of you. She said that when things are cluttered, messy, and stressful in your physical space, you'll have a corresponding level of overwhelming stress inside of you that will keep you from living and being your best.

Most of us don't realize the far-reaching, negative effects clutter has in every area of our lives. If we look around our homes and feel relaxed, peaceful, and quiet, that’s happening inside of us, as well.

Act to make positive changes in your life and stop blaming others for the failures or challenges you've experienced.

It's easy to get caught up in the "blame game", but remember that you're responsible for setting the course of your life. So, where do you want to take your life? Take a moment to think about where your life is headed. Are you going in the direction you desire to manifest your dreams, or do you need to make a course correction?Identify the changes that are needed to make your life better, develop a plan on how you're going to achieve those goals, and make it happen!

And lastly…

Every day, write down at least five things that make you feel thankful. You'll be surprised at the number of riches you possess in your life. Include special moments that made you smile or laugh, acts of kindness by strangers, and things that often go unnoticed but make your life more comfortable or enjoyable, like the shade tree that keeps your house cool in the summer.

If you have questions or comments, please share them below!

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