August 5, 2015

4 Tips to Help You Cope with Life’s Challenges

By Amanda Fernandes, Project Happiness Regional Director, Caribbean

We all experience challenging situations from time to time. Whether it’s your computer crashing right before an assignment is due, or going through a difficult breakup, the time comes when you have to face adversity head on. Despite the emotional roller coaster, life goes on so you’re expected to cope with the unpleasantries and find a way to cope.

“Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to see the light” – Dan Brown

But that’s easier said than done.

It can be difficult to remain positive in the face of a challenge but we’ve compiled a list of four simple tips that will help you cope with life’s challenges – big or small.

Exercise self control

shutterstock_222936490When something unpleasant happens your first reaction might be to lash out at the source of the problem. But does this make things better, or worse? In these scenarios it’s important to take a step back from the situation: close your eyes and count to ten, take deep breaths or, if possible, fully remove yourself from the situation. Channel your energy and emotions into another activity then come back with a clearer, more level head that will enable you to see things more clearly and hopefully assist in resolving the problem.

Feel the emotion

shutterstock_195265520Whether it is anger, disappointment, depression or even disgust, allow yourself to feel the emotions brought on by a particular incident. Contrary to popular belief, it is OK to feel negative emotions. In fact, it is healthy to acknowledge these feelings and dissect them to get to the root of the problem. What you need to be mindful of is your reaction to these feelings. Once you’ve pinpointed the genesis of your problem, honestly assess how you feel and then determine the most appropriate and constructive response.

Find the good

shutterstock_96643531Whether we see it or not, there is good even in every situation. For instance, the fight that occurred between you and your significant other may have allowed you to express things that you have been keeping to yourself for a while, or the illness that kept you away from work for weeks was the catalyst that caused you to start living a more healthy and active lifestyle. Every cloud has a silver lining, we just have to search a little deeper for it so practice identifying at least one lesson learned from every seemingly negative situation.

Don’t cry over spilt milk

shutterstock_299676677It’s human nature to dwell on the negatives in life. We tend to create alternative scenarios, blame ourselves for what has occurred, and identify what we could have done differently. While this is all part of the process it is of utmost importance that we don’t allow it to consume our lives. Always remember that this too shall pass, so take note of the lessons learned and be mindful to apply them to similar scenarios in the future.


Challenges are a part of life, but these 4 recommendations should help you cope with them constructively. Implement one, or all, of them, the next time you face adversity and you might realise that things aren’t so bad after all. It just requires a minor change in your perspective.