Attack the Problem
There is a difference between solving a problem and ruminating over it. It won’t help to dwell on a disastrous outcome or replay a nasty argument with your partner in your head. You need to be able to tell this difference and attack problems head on. Think about how you can prevent further problems and increase your chances of success.
If you’re dwelling, you need to flip the switch. Realize your negative thoughts aren’t helping you. If you just can’t get a matter off your mind, do something that will distract you for a few minutes. Then, shift your focus to a more productive pastime.
Acknowledge, but Don’t Exaggerate
Sometimes life becomes overwhelming and it’s easier to throw in the towel than try to fix things. This is where we enter something experts call victim mode. We don’t feel confident in our power to change things. We stop trying to think of how to cope. Victim mode occurs because we pretend we’re doing well instead of processing our fears and feelings of vulnerability. By not acknowledging them, we end up feeling very sorry for ourselves.
After any traumatic event, people must give themselves a time window to fully feel whatever it is they feel: wrath, hatred, fear, sadness, loss, etc. If you still feels overwhelmed after that, you should consider therapy, calling a hotline, or finding a stress support group. You can’t change the past, but you’re not helpless. You have the power to move forward and decide how to live your life.
Having the right kind of support is crucial if you want to cope with issues beyond your control. It’s not always a good idea to turn to loved ones and friends for advice. They might not know how to help and offer the wrong kind of help just because they want to feel useful. Their sympathy can encourage you to keep playing the victim. While sympathy and attention are nice, they rarely lead to actions that can solve a problem and help you move forward. Contact a professional if you feel overwhelmed.