Next Level Human

Navigating Life's Storms: Practical Strategies for Overcoming Difficult Times- Ep. 244

December 08, 2023 Jade Teta Episode 244
Next Level Human
Navigating Life's Storms: Practical Strategies for Overcoming Difficult Times- Ep. 244
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Dr. Jade Teta discusses how to get through tough times. He shares his personal experience of going through a difficult time and the challenges he faced. Dr. Teta emphasizes the importance of acknowledging and validating someone's feelings when they are going through a tough time. He explains the law of humanity and empathy, which involves accepting that it is normal to feel negative emotions during difficult times. Dr. Teta also discusses the dangers of toxic negativity and toxic positivity and suggests finding a balance between the two. He provides strategies for living your way into the answer, solidifying plans, and taking action. Dr. Teta highlights the power of positive thinking and elevated emotions in navigating tough times and encourages self-care and self-compassion.

Takeaways

  • Acknowledge and validate someone's feelings when they are going through a tough time.
  • Practice the law of humanity and empathy by accepting that it is normal to feel negative emotions during difficult times.
  • Avoid toxic negativity and toxic positivity by finding a balance between acknowledging the negative aspects and seeking positive outcomes.
  • Live your way into the answer by planning for the worst-case scenario and preparing for the best-case scenario.
  • Take care of yourself through self-care activities and surround yourself with supportive friends and family.

Timestamps to help navigate this episode:
 
(00:00) Introduction and Personal Experience
(03:20) How to Respond to Someone Going Through a Tough Time
(09:05) The Law of Humanity and Empathy
(13:28) Avoiding Toxic Negativity and Toxic Positivity
(17:44) The Yin and Yang of Negative and Positive Thinking
(24:00) Living Your Way into the Answer
(28:16) Solidifying Plans and Taking Action
(31:35) The Power of Positive Thinking and Elevated Emotions
(35:27) Acknowledging Feelings and Asking Questions
(43:42) Self-Care and Taking Care of Yourself
(44:42) Finding Meaning and Growth in Difficult Times

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Instagram: @jadeteta

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. As a human, you have a job to do. In fact, you have four jobs to earn and manage money. To attain and maintain health and fitness. To build and sustain personal relationships. To find meaning and make a difference. None of these jobs are taught in school, and that is what this podcast is designed to do To educate us all on living our most fulfilled lives through the mastery of these four jobs. I'm your host, dr Jade Tita, and I believe we are here living this life for three reasons, and three reasons only To learn, to teach and to love. In this podcast, I will be learning, teaching and loving right along with you. I'm grateful to have your company. Here's to our next level. Welcome to the Next Level Human Podcast. Everyone, my name is Dr Jade Tita. I am your host. Today's episode we are going to be covering how to get through tough times. I want to start this podcast off by just being a little vulnerable and open with you.

Speaker 1:

I am currently going through a very tough time. I am dealing with business struggles right now. Stress around that One of my major businesses has completely dissolved, lost a ton of money. More importantly, lost what I was really working towards for the last 10 years or so. That has been incredibly difficult. If you've ever gone through anything like a huge career change or being fired out of the blue or losing some of your safety and security concerns regarding money, then you have an idea of what I am currently dealing with. What I have found, actually, is that some of the people closest to me have not really showed up in a way that I would have liked. This is not their fault. We all deal with things differently. We're all unique. I would imagine that there are plenty of people for who these people would be showing up for appropriately. I've had conversations with all of these people my girlfriend, my family members, different things because I am trying to work out for myself what is going on here.

Speaker 1:

The issue is that it's easy to be all good when everything is all good. It's easy to be relaxed and it's easy to give advice and it's easy to say do X, y and Z. It's easy to coach yourself when things are going great. When shit hits the fan, that's not so easy anymore, is it? What you find very quickly is that a lot of the personal development cliches really fall into a category of really not effective. Sometimes they can even be annoying. You just got to stay positive or keep your chin up. Or everyone goes through difficult times, or you'll figure it out, or life has a plan for you, or everything happens for a reason. These things can be incredibly annoying at their best when you're going through a really tough time, and they can also come across as incredibly flippant and dismissive at times for people when you're going through a really tough time.

Speaker 1:

I am going to talk here to two types of people in this podcast. I'm going to talk to the person who is the friend, the partner, the family member of the person going through a tough time. I'm also going to be talking about it from the first person perspective, from my perspective, because currently I'm going through a tough time. What I'm finding is that these conversations are coming up in my head. How best to deal with this?

Speaker 1:

The first thing is let's talk a little bit about someone. Comes to you and they say to you I'm having a tough time. Like recently I was sitting with somebody and I told them. I said I'm really scared. This is not something that most of my friends, family, anyone would really hear from me. From my perspective, when someone tells you they're afraid there's something that needs to be said. You may not know what to be said. This person that I said is to essentially sit there and was quiet and didn't say anything, which, in my mind, is perhaps one of the worst things that you can do when you're going through a tough time. The last thing you want to do is then call someone out for their inability or discomfort or unsuredness around how to respond. What I want to do really quickly is to say how should we respond, because I've been thinking a lot about this.

Speaker 1:

Now a lot of people might think well, I need to solve the problem, and I don't think that's what you want to do at all. I think the first thing that you want to do when someone is dealing and having a tough time is to simply acknowledge it. One of the first things to say is either I know I can't even imagine this is so tough for you, I'm so sorry you're going through this. That would be one approach, and it's not a bad approach. The other approach might be I know, talk to me, tell me more. I want to understand exactly what this is like for you, because usually when someone is telling you and makes a statement like this. What they're really doing is they're asking can we talk, can I vent? Can I just have a discussion about my fears? Isn't this right?

Speaker 1:

Oftentimes, when you say you're tell someone I'm so angry, or you tell someone I'm feeling a particular way, isn't what you really want is an opportunity to express it to someone other than yourself, to get a perspective, but mainly rather just to be heard. One of the first things that I think needs to be done is just simply I know or tell me more, or I can't even imagine. This is empathy, right. This is compassion 101. Let me just listen. I don't need to solve it for you. I don't need to do anything really at this point other than just let you talk, and there's one technique here called mirroring that can be really effective. If I say I'm scared, all you have to do is repeat back to me the last little bit of what I said. I'm really feeling scared. I can look at you and say if you say that to me, I can look at you and say you're feeling scared as a question, and that gives the person permission. It, in a very simple way, goes I heard you, I care about what you said and I want to hear more. I'm really feeling sad. You're feeling sad. I'm really angry. You're feeling angry. I'm really scared. You're feeling scared.

Speaker 1:

This is the first approach, most of the time, for someone who's voicing some of these concerns, frustrations, fears, et cetera. And, by the way, as an individual who is coaching yourself, that is also the very first move. The very first move when you're feeling something is simply to tell yourself I'm feeling something. And the very first approach to getting help from somebody is simply telling that someone I'm feeling something. And the very first approach and move to make when someone tells you they're feeling something, it's just simply to reply back to them you're feeling something and that begins the conversation. And from there, both for the person who is acting as a coach, or the person going through a difficult time is reaching out to, or the person in general who's going through the difficult time to coach themselves, from there there's a couple moves and I call these moves the law of humanity and the law of empathy.

Speaker 1:

The law of humanity essentially says you are only human, that you're not abnormal for being afraid, you're not abnormal for being angry, you're not abnormal for being scared, you're not abnormal for being anxious, that this is all normal stuff, that humans feel this way and that you're suffering, whether it be from a mistake or a mishap, or whether it be from a trial or a trauma or a tribulation Any of these things are normal. In other words, humans have gone through difficult times since the dawn of man. This is the natural condition of a human being, and so one of the first things to do is let people know you're only normal. Now, this is you have to be careful with this, because if you say something like well, all humans go through this, it can come across as not listening or dismissive. But, however, if it's something where you go, something like this, you know it's normal for you to feel angry, it's normal for you to feel scared, it's normal for you to feel anxious. How could you not? Of course, you feel this way. This gives people permission, once again, to say more, to talk more.

Speaker 1:

So, whether or not you're coaching your friend or whether or not you're coaching yourself, the first move here is to say I feel something. What is it that I'm feeling? And I'm perfectly within my right to feel this. It's perfectly normal as a human to feel this, and the reason why I think this is important is because, in the self-development space. Currently, we are suffering in my mind from the sickness of toxic positivity, this idea that permeates so deeply that you can only think positive thoughts, because if you don't think positive thoughts, then you're creating negative outcomes, and if you think negative outcomes then you're responsible for those negative outcomes. And from my perspective, there is nothing worse for someone who's going through a difficult time and is feeling very normal human things to be told, either outright or to insinuate, that their thoughts created it and their thoughts are making it worse and that if they can't somehow start thinking positive, then they are somehow less than a person and are suffering more. Can we see how this idea can be incredibly damaging to someone who is already suffering? Now, let's be clear, and we'll get to this in a minute Positive thinking is an absolute requirement when you're going through difficult times.

Speaker 1:

In the same way, negative thinking is absolutely normal, and so the first thing to do when you're dealing with a difficult time is simply to acknowledge and accept that you're in a difficult time. To say it out loud I am anxious, I am scared, I am angry, I am frustrated. You know, I am overwhelmed, right? I don't know what to do and to simply just say okay, so I feel angry. That's human, of course I feel angry. That's the acceptance part. That's the law of humanity. Just admitting it and not making yourself feel bad about it and not trying to pile on with this idea that you're somehow supposed to be a superhuman guru when you're going through difficult times. It is very normal for a human to feel difficult things and that should be acknowledged. And we should not make ourselves feel bad about that or make others feel bad about that by unconsciously trying to insinuate that they should just think positive thoughts. Right, this is not helpful at this stage of a wounding.

Speaker 1:

Everyone needs time to grieve. Let me give you an example. If someone's significant other just died, would you ever say something along the lines of wealth, look on the bright side. Of course not. You would say to them oh my gosh, of course you're feeling sad. Of course this is difficult. I am so sorry, I don't know if I could deal with this this way.

Speaker 1:

And this is the law of empathy. Law of empathy essentially says oh my gosh, this must be so hard I can't even imagine. I don't know how I could deal with that. You're just doing such a great job, right? That's this idea of like I can see how hard this would be, and I'm trying to put myself in your situation and I'm seeing that I might not be able to show up as well as you. That's where statements like I can't even imagine this must be so difficult, I don't know that I can handle it. The way you're handling it Allows people to go OK, they get me.

Speaker 1:

So this whole first part of just essentially repeating back to people what they're saying and giving yourself permission to feel this way, and or giving that person permission to feel this way if you're the one they're coming to for help, is critical Law of humanity, then law of empathy on top of that. These are the first steps in dealing with a difficult time. Now we can't stop there, and this is where some of the self development stuff does become helpful. It is very helpful. After this initial stage, we must be able to deal with the grieving. We also have to begin to solve the problem, don't we? And once again, this is where I think you can run into toxic negativity and or toxic positivity, right, and there's two ways to go with this, and we have to be very careful.

Speaker 1:

The toxic negativity is the idea that we are catastrophizing. The idea that we are blaming and complaining, the idea that everything is seen through the lens of this is the most horrible thing in the world. It couldn't get any worse and I'm just going to blame, complain, whimper and whine. And once I get done with that, I'm going to blame, complain and whimper and whine. And once I get done with that, I'm going to blame, complain, whimper and whine. This is toxic negativity and a lot of us tend to default to this way of being simply because we are used to it.

Speaker 1:

Again, as humans, it's normal to default back to old behaviors, and oftentimes we talk a lot in this podcast about developmental issues, don't we that when we're developing as kids, as children, we have to have safety and security needs met. When we're developing as adolescents, we need acceptance and belonging needs met. When we're young adults, we need freedom and autonomy needs met, and If we don't get these things met completely, we will devise all kinds of behaviors and coping mechanisms around that. One of these would be the child temper tantrum. Another one of these would be lack of being Authentic to fit in as adolescents, and so what you will oftentimes see when people are going through a tough time is they will throw Adult temper tantrums, which is another way of saying toxic negativity. They will blame, complain, stomp their feet, talk about how life isn't fair, all of these things. You also have to watch your developmental tendencies around attachment styles.

Speaker 1:

I tend to be someone who can lean avoidant and so when things start getting tough for me, one of the things that can happen is I can avoid interacting with anybody. That I think will not be helpful, and I especially Can have a very difficult time. If you tell me I'm blaming and complaining, ever wanting to trust you again with Anything. Or if I tell you something and you're just quiet and don't want me to talk and vent, then I may not trust you later and so my avoidant tendencies and or Tendencies around coping mechanisms make their self-known. Now, if you're someone, it gets anxious or avoidant in your attachment style. Difficult times will bring out that anxious and avoidant way of being. You might be too needy and or you might. If you're an anxious Attachment style, or you might stiff, arm your loved ones and not allow them to help and be untrusting. If you're an avoidant, a personality type, you also may start throwing temper tantrums.

Speaker 1:

All of this is Toxic negativity. Whoa is me? Life is not fair. Here we go again. Why is it always happened to me? I can't believe this has happened again.

Speaker 1:

All of this is Incredibly negative self-talk and not helpful. Now, on the other side, we can fall into toxic positivity. All I got to do is, you know, move forward and just think positive thoughts and Meditate and just stay in joy and gratitude. And, you know, don't think about the negative things and don't dwell on what could go wrong. Just project out into the world. You know, and manifest something out of this. That, also, in my mind, is incredibly Unproductive because it doesn't allow you to process what is happening. And this is where I get into this idea of walking the middle line.

Speaker 1:

If we understand the philosophy of Taoism the yin and the yang Well then the negative, toxic negativity, being all negative is the yang and being all too positive is the yin. What we need is we need to use Suffering, because suffering is our greatest teacher. So we need to dwell on what can go wrong. We need to understand what can go wrong, we need to understand what we have done wrong. And, yes, that includes in our thinking. Perhaps our negative thinking in the past or some of the ways of being did lead to this, and so we do want to spend some time thinking Negatively. By the way, this is something that the Stoics have championed and actually has been studied. This has actually been looked at that people who don't think of the negative outcomes can find themselves in More difficult things.

Speaker 1:

The Stoics called this pre-meditatio malorum, which basically means meditating on the negative, meditating on the negative. What's this mean? Well, we have popular sayings for this. It says plan it's plan for the worst, hope for the best right, you've, you've heard from that or plan for the best, prepare for the worst. However you want to look at it, we have very common cliche sayings in our culture that address this, and so the idea is, yes, pre-meditatio malorum, think about and dwell on the negative, prepare yourself for worst case scenario and, at the same time, plan and Prepare for best case scenario, because every single difficult time of our in our lives has something to teach and something positive that we can make of it.

Speaker 1:

In fact, we talk a lot on this podcast about the idea that pain is a path to purpose. Suffering is Can be a source of meaning. Your hurt can be a way to help, but you have to understand what you're going through and this is why venting, talking, being vulnerable, vulnerable about your feelings, dwelling on your negative feelings, even projecting out into the future and thinking about how bad can things be. So for me, a lot of my family and friends are laughing at me because I Go to a place where I'm like, okay, if I lose my house, you know, I might lose my house and this might happen and that might happen and this and that. And Some of my friends who get me and really understand who I am Understand that this is something that I do.

Speaker 1:

I go worst case scenario and I go best case scenario and this is very, very helpful because worst case scenario helps you prepare and learn and plan and prep in case things get worse and they're, and they will almost Never get as bad as worst case scenario. But even if they did, you will not be surprised and you will have a plan which does what. It gives you some clarity and gives you a sense of control. And when you're going through a very difficult time, one of the first things you want to do as fast as possible is Get clarity and control so you can make choices and take actions. Without clarity and control, you won't be able to make choices and you'll be stuck in anxious states, and so one of the first things to do is get clarity and control. Clarity means think about worst case scenario, begin to plan for it. Think about best case scenario and begin to plan for it. This is one of the best things you can do now.

Speaker 1:

If you're coaching someone through a difficult time, after you get through, letting them talk about their feelings and using the law of humanity this is only normal, of course, you feel this way and using the law of empathy, oh my gosh, I can't even imagine. I know it's so tough. I can't believe how tough this is for you. I don't know if I could handle this as well. The next step is to start to ask questions. What are you most afraid of, jade? What are you most afraid of? What do you think is going to happen? You even can ask can you see any benefits of this? Is it possible that there's any benefits to this? And you essentially probe and ask questions. Probe and ask questions. You don't give answers. What you do is you ask all the questions that these people may not see and be asking themselves.

Speaker 1:

Because what happens when we get and start going through difficult times, when we get stressed, our focus narrows and it's very difficult for us to think creatively and to think holistically and inclusively. Instead, we get very narrow-minded. Think about it if we're on the plains of Africa and a lion jumps out at us fight or flight mode we get focused, we focus on running or we focus on fighting and we forget about all the opportunities in our lives because we're just trying to get away from the lion. This is why toxic negativity is very wrong and you want to try to pull people out of toxic negativity, because then they focus on just that and they can't see outside that box. But it's also why you don't want to get people on toxic positivity, because then they may miss and just focus on that and forget that they have to plan in case things get worse. In other words, the best way to give someone control and clarity is to ask them questions about worst case and best case scenario. This gets them thinking more holistically. It also allows them to arrive at control and clarity themselves.

Speaker 1:

We also know in psychology that self-determination theory is a critical aspect of coaching people whether they're friends or clients of yours to let them come up with the ideas so they have ownership of it and they understand it better. If you give someone an idea, they don't have ownership over it. Plus, they may not be able to think it through at the level that they would need to to really understand the idea in the first place. And so these are the moves to make. And so first, as an individual going through a difficult time, acknowledge your feelings, think about your feelings. Give yourself the law of humanity, understand this is normal. Don't beat yourself up because of the way you are feeling and or thinking or what you're going through. Give yourself the law of empathy. Give yourself self-compassion. Yes, this is difficult. Yes, of course it's gonna be hard. Yes, you are completely within your right to feel the ways that you feel.

Speaker 1:

Then start asking yourself questions Okay, what am I really afraid of?

Speaker 1:

What am I really angry about? What am I really anxious, having anxiety about? And then ask yourself is there anything to learn here? Could this be a good thing? What's the worst thing that can happen? What's the best thing that can happen? What are the opportunities and what are the potential negative outcomes? And I need to play both of these games. This is how you begin to get clarity and control. This is the way that you start to have more autonomy and freedom. This is the way you begin to navigate through this difficult time.

Speaker 1:

Now the next aspect of this is to remind yourself, or remind the person you're coaching, who's going through a difficult time, that sometimes we must live our way into the answer that we won't have all the answers, that it's not everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it's things happen and we have to make a reason that it's not leap and the net will appear. Sometimes, and more often, it's leap and weave the net as you fall, and so the idea is then to focus not necessarily on the outcome or the issue, but to begin getting your questions into what actions can you take and, more importantly, not whether the action is right or wrong, but the idea of resilience and courage. And so, instead of telling someone you should do X, y and Z, it's helping them find the courage and the resilience in themselves. You've been through hard things before. I've seen you be incredibly courageous, or you are incredibly courageous. You can do this. All you need to do is go through the battle. You've been through these battles before. I know you can find the silver lining in this. I know you can weather any storm. These are the things that you need to do.

Speaker 1:

This is the part where you're sort of giving someone a pep talk right. Most people want to give the pep talk right off the bat and most people want to give solutions. Do this, do that. You can do it, but the pep talk should come only after you go through the acceptance of the feelings and allow them to feel, or allow yourself to feel. Give yourself the law of humanity, give yourself the law of empathy, give yourself the questions around the negative and positive outcomes and then, at that point, start giving the pep talk. You can do this. You are courageous. I've seen you be powerful before. I know that you can do it and reminding them and this is where it really is helping.

Speaker 1:

This is why good friends understand history and they can actually bring up times. Remember the time this happened and look what came out of it. For example, what I've been telling myself a lot through this difficult time is I'm like the last really difficult thing you did in life. You know that created an entire new way of looking at the world and opened up an entire new avenue of research for you and allowed you to help thousands and thousands of people in a very different way. How is this gonna be any different? You're really good, jade, at turning you know lemons into lemonade right, you're really good at that. You're very good at taking the lessons, distilling them down. You're also a teacher, so maybe there's something in this that you could use to teach others. So can you see that now we're going into this pep talk of like I am capable, helping them understand that they are capable, that they are courageous, that they are and can live their way into the answer, that they don't need all the answers right now, but they will figure it out and they can figure it out and they have all the skills and all the tenacity and all the courage to get through this and learn the lessons.

Speaker 1:

This is really important, and the final aspect of this is then getting down to actual plans. Here's what we need to do, and this is where you begin to question about okay, now, what are you going to do? How are you going to prepare for the worst and then plan for the best? And this is where you can ask questions very carefully Okay, what happens if it's this bad? What are you going to do if it gets this bad? How are you going to manage this or that? Have you thought about this or that? And then, of course, moving into the positive outcome how are you going to learn this or that? What can you do, what are your plans for making this better, et cetera. This becomes a very tangible thing.

Speaker 1:

So for me, as I'm going through this, and if you're going through a very difficult time, it's literally journaling and thinking. You know we tend to do this anyway. It's almost like our body and our brain knows why it keeps us up at night and it keeps us thinking about this, and these anxious thoughts come into our brain to remind us hey, pay attention, we have a problem to solve, we have choices to make, we have actions to take. And so when this anxiety and this fear and these feelings pop up, eventually you want to get to this place, like, oh, there's a reminder, I got to get control, I got to get clarity, I got to solve this issue. And that's when you begin writing out in detail or walking yourself through a mental rehearsal of things and how bad they could get In my case. Okay, so I might lose my home, right? So if I lose my home, what am I going to do? Well, I can sell it. I'll get this much money for it. When should I begin thinking about that? What will I do after that? You know, and get very clear.

Speaker 1:

For example, for me, what I've been thinking about is I've been thinking about what would be the opportunity in this. So if I had to sell my house, let's say, if this is the example, I sell my house and I could buy one of those sleeper vans and drive around the country. I love road trips, I love, you know, sort of visiting new places around the country, and that sounds like that could be a lot of fun, and I could do that for a couple years and live relatively low key and live relatively cheaply as I rebuild, you know, my income or whatever it is. And so when you're planning worst case scenario, you're even looking for opportunities in worst case scenario, and then, of course, you start planning best case scenario as a result of this, then I get to do this and this. I'm free to explore that and that, and what I would suggest is, when you're asking questions of yourself and if you're coaching someone through this, you really do the negative stuff first, the negative Visualization, the pre-meditatio malorum, then you do the positive stuff next, then you do the positive stuff. Next and the final thing is to absolutely begin to teach Somebody and I think this part is critical, and this is where I think I'll win back the fans that I lost as it comes to positive thinking.

Speaker 1:

Positive thinking is absolutely critical and, from my perspective, the best thing you can do, once you have gone through the negative feelings and Meditated on worst-case scenarios, is to make sure you get yourself in a positive state. You do not want to be walking around Moping, whining, blaming, being stuck in the emotions of afraid. These are the emotions of anger, frustration, resistance, anxiety, insecurity, depression. Instead, whenever possible, you want to get yourself in the emotions that are the elevated emotions emotions of joy, emotions of gratitude, emotions of hope. These, these emotions of kindness and love. These are the emotions that you want to get yourself in, and a really good friend, by the way, will help you to do that. They'll literally push you to get outside or to exercise, because they know this can clear your mind. They might know that you love the outdoors, and so they'll be like let's go for a hike. They may, you know, put on uplifting music. They may encourage you to meditate, or whatever it's going to be. They will encourage you to get in a positive Emotional state. You need to do this for yourself as well, and this is where loving intention and positive meditation can make themselves known, and this can be very powerful Meaning everywhere you go.

Speaker 1:

What if you thought to yourself I'm not the only one struggling, and there's other people struggling and I'm going to bring good vibes. I'm going to fake a smile, fake a laugh, because research shows that when we fake a smile and fake a laugh very quickly that we will begin to also be more likely to feel joy and humor. So it's not really faking its being, and the reason it's being is because you are actually thinking it, feeling it and acting it. Now, what's interesting about this is that sometimes it's difficult to think of a thing and feel the thing when you just Feel not good. But sometimes, if you just do a hearty laugh or a smile, take the action that is Consistent with the thinking and the feeling, all of a sudden, the thinking and the feeling will manifest, and this is something that psychology research calls the as-if principle. They've done studies, for example, where they will put people into Functional magnetic resonance imaging for the brain and they will essentially see Okay, go to your happy place. Think of something happy, and they'll see how long it takes for these happiness centers in the brain to kind of light up. And then they'll just say, hey, smile. And the way they do this. In some of the research they have you hold a pencil between your teeth which forces you into a real smile, and then they look to see how happy you feel and how fast those centers light up. Well, the fake Action of the smile actually elicits happier feelings and happy centers lighting up in the brain To the same degree, if not better, than if you were having the the happy thought, and so actions in and of themselves Can immediately change Thinking and feeling. However, thinking and feeling don't always change actions, do they, and we know this is the case. So we can use this as if principle, by simply showing up and doing the thing and acting and being Happy in our actions to get our thinking and feeling to move into these more elevated emotions, and this is absolutely Critical for this, and so this helps us get through these tough times. It also helps us walk people through these tough times. So let's review this one more time before we end this particular Podcast.

Speaker 1:

The first thing you want to do for yourself or someone else going through a tough time is do not ignore the feelings. Make sure you acknowledge the feelings. And usually to acknowledge the feelings, all you have to do is mirror the person or mirror yourself I'm scared, you're scared. I'm anxious, you're anxious. I'm angry, you're angry. Question it Just simply go. I feel this, you feel this so that you can elucidate and explain more.

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And if you are someone who is a friend to someone going through a tough time, understand that's what they need. They need to vent, they even need to express their fears and they even need to do negative talk. And if you're someone who Cannot stand negative talk or thinks they're being, and don't have the patience to sit there with someone and let them vent, then you're not really being a true friend in this regard and they will go. Look for someone else who will, who they do feel they can trust to vent to, and some of these conversations will last a very long time. I tend to be the go-to person for my friends when they're going through a tough time. One of the reasons that I am is because I have a Tremendous capacity for patience. I can sit there and listen to you express your fears and negative thoughts for hours, until you are ready to begin to hear some positive thoughts, and I certainly will pepper those in with motivation and everything else.

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But the first thing you have to do is allow yourself to feel and allow them to feel and express, invent While they are feeling, or while you are feeling, expressing, inventing. You need to give yourself the law of humanity and the law of empathy. Give yourself permission to feel the way you feel. Realize it is normal. You are not a bad person, a weak person or Someone who is making your life worse simply because you feel some negative feelings and are having some negative thoughts. That's the first thing that you begin to do.

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The next thing you begin to do is probe and question, and the probing in question is both for you, if you're going through it, and the person who you might be coaching, who's going through it. And the idea with the questions is simply to make sure that people are thinking holistically, globally, inclusively, instead of being so narrow in their focus that they can't see past the temper tantrum or they can't see past the avoidance and the anxiety because they're stuck in fight or flight mode. And so, ultimately, you want to begin to bring them out of that with questioning, questioning on both sides. What do you think the lessons are going to be, which are critical? Remember the last time you got in a difficult time? Didn't lessons come out of that? Okay, what are you gonna do? What's the worst thing that can happen? Okay, how would you deal with that? So you're just asking lots of questions and then, of course, in this questioning, you make sure that you do the yin and yang. You go to worst case scenario what is the worst thing that can happen? And you begin to plan and prepare for that and what is the best thing that can happen, what are all the amazing opportunities that could come out of this? And and what is the plan and preparation and hope for that?

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Now, let me just stop here for a second, because a lot of people will be like well, let's say, I don't know, your child was raped and murdered. How can you possibly think about a good thing, an outcome, from that? I give that example. It's a horrifying example, and I do it on purpose to stop you in your tracks, to basically go oh my gosh, that's horrible, because we can't think of anything more horrible than that, can we? And yet we know a story of a mother and a father of a family who, as a result of having their child raped and murdered, they went out in the world and started to put Faces of missing children all over milk cartons. They turned that pain into purpose, they turn that suffering into meaning, they turn their deep hurt you into a way to help, and it turned into saving tens of thousands of lives. And so, yes, even the most tragic, most difficult things in the world have opportunities, and, for all we know, perhaps this is the way that magic things happen in the world. The worst pain can become some of the best promises that the world has ever seen. And so, even in the most tragic things, we need to see what can we make of this?

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So, if you're struggling with yourself, with this tragedy or difficulty, or the person you're talking to is struggling and they can't see any positive benefits, what you want to look for is one trick here is to, when it's appropriate, and only when it's appropriate, and only when they've expressed everything, to drop hints that there have been people who have been through incredibly difficult things, who have turned these things into magic, and that they have the same potential and capability to do that. Now you've armed yourself or them, whoever's going through the difficult time. With the worst case you are prepared and the best case? Now you have some level of control and clarity over this. This is really powerful. Now you can move into solidifying your plans for best case. Because you've got the plan for worst case, you solidify your plans for best case and you go out there and you force yourself into the actions and catch yourself having all the negative thoughts, revisiting this whole process and moving forward with elevated thoughts and elevated emotions.

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And this is where some of the benefit of meditation comes in. And if you go to nextlevelhumancom and scroll down to the bottom of that website, you can get free meditations that can help you through these difficult times the evening meditation and the morning meditation that are free on nextlevelhumancom. Just go to nextlevelhumancom, scroll down to the bottom of the page and download those meditations. And the reason meditation can be incredibly important when you're going through a difficult time is that meditation can immediately switch you into an elevated emotional state. So, yes, meditation Also exercise. Exercise is very powerful. Depression things like walking or running or anything that gets the heart rate elevated for a long period of time can be very beneficial For anxiety very intense stuff For insecurity. Weight training can be really powerful. So these are things that you can do right now.

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The other thing that can be really powerful is looking at other people and talking to other people who've gone through difficult times to build a resilience mindset. Another thing you can do is think about times that were tough in the past that you overcame, and the other thing that you can do is remind yourself I am courageous. Positive affirmations in this way. All of these things can be very good aspects. The most important thing to understand is that it is an opportunity to learn lessons and grow. It's also an opportunity and a critical opportunity to begin to take better care of yourself Sleep, rest, self-care things are absolutely critical and exposing yourself to people and not isolating yourself the way I would tend to do as an avoidant personality.

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Go get a massage, go for long walks, go for a run, do a workout, do some contrast hydrotherapy, meet friends for dinner, meet friends to talk, get therapy. Do all the things that you could do to orient yourself in a way that is powerful for you, but don't let anyone tell you that all you should be doing is thinking positive thoughts. It's not helpful. Research shows it's not helpful. It's most helpful when you plan for the worst, you prepare for the worst and then you plan for, prepare for and hope for the best simultaneously. This is how this is going to work, and the final thing I'll hear is just a reminder that sometimes we have to live our way into the answer. You will be stronger, you will be more courageous, you will learn something from this that you never could have learned otherwise, and perhaps in hindsight you will find, as people often do, that the most traumatic, difficult times of our lives become the most cherished, best times of our lives because they make us into people that we can be proud of, that we never would have met or become without this trauma, this trial or this tribulation. I hope this podcast is helpful for you. It certainly was helpful for me as I go through my difficult time. Just walking you all through this. Let's make sure that when people are going through tough times, we know how to show up for them. We know how to ask them for help for ourselves. This is going to be one of the best gifts we can give ourselves and others. Thanks so much, everybody, and I will see you at the next show.

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You have been listening to the Next Level Human podcast with Dr J Tira. If you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe and consider leaving a review. You make the biggest difference when you pass on your lessons and inspire others. That's why reviews like this are so powerful. Your words may be the only ones that resonate for someone else. Please remember the information in this podcast is for educational purposes only. Always consult your personal position or therapist before making any lifestyle changes. And finally, thank you for who you are in the world and the difference you make.

Navigating Tough Times
Navigating Difficult Times
Navigating Difficult Times
Navigating Tough Times