“Life has its ups and downs. When you are up, enjoy the scenery. When you are down, touch the soul of your being and feel the beauty.” ― Debasish Mridha
This week we’re talking about the ups and downs of life and how we react and deal or cope with them.
True to say partly spurred on by the week we’ve just had.
It’s included the normal ups and downs of everyday life but on top of that there’s been some heightened ups and downs.
In today’s episode (64) of the Changeability Podcast we share a couple of major events that happened to us this week and use them to think about the highs and lows, ups and downs of life generally, together with suggestions of things we can do to help us cope with them.
“The unpredictability of life sucks. One minute you’re riding high with the wind whipping through your hair and the next minute you’re flat on your ass with a face full of gravel.” Alison G. Bailey
Life is full of ups and downs
It might sound obvious but ups and downs of life are just part of life.
However calm and stable someone’s life appears, a closer look will reveal ups and downs. We all have them because they’re part of the human experience – a condition of our humanity. Whether of our own making or down to circumstances outside our control.
This week we’ve experienced both.
From down to up
Kathryn had the pleasure of giving a presentation to 150 Shell employees at a conference at Canary Wharf, London. Talking about how to thrive in times of change, it was a privilege to share the agenda with Baroness Susan Greenfield and VPs from Shell, Microsoft and Cisco.
The whole experience went from a down point of being outside the comfort zone and a fear of uncertainty prior to the conference, to the up of meeting fantastic people, delivering an adrenaline fuelled performance and accompanying sense of accomplishment, boosted by lovely feedback.
“There would be no cloud-nine days without rock-bottom moments left below.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich
From up to down
Following the conference Kathryn returned home from London to the news that Julian’s father had taken a turn for the worse, and he sadly died a few days later.
The death of a loved one is the ultimate downer or low point, but is still a bittersweet experience. A mixture of ups and downs even within the low points.
A slight sense of relief for the release but shock at the dawning realisation of the finality of the situation.
Thankfulness and gratitude for the relationship and the memories you find yourself talking about together in the time spent preparing for the rituals and ceremonies accompanying this time.
“Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It's a journey of discovery - there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair”. Rick Warren
That’s been our experience this week which got us thinking about some of the ways to help cope with the ups and downs of life. Here’s 20 of them.
20 ways to deal with the ups and downs of life
“ Life is not linear; you have ups and downs. It's how you deal with the troughs that defines you”. Michael Lee-Chin
- Acknowledge that life has ups and downs and it’s a normal part of the human experience.
- Enjoy the ups and celebrate the wins. Make the most of them because although we know they don’t last, that’s part of their beauty.
- You cannot have the ups without the downs or the highs without the lows. They can’t exist in isolation because there would be nothing to compare them with. It would be a bland sameness with no curves.
The highs are great but let’s think about the opposite, because these are of course by their very nature more difficult.
- Accept there will be downs, rather than fighting them or asking “why me”. It helps maintain perspective, depersonalises a situation, and makes it easier to accept.
- Look for the positives.
- The down times help us grow, become more rounded as individuals and develop empathy for others who’ve been through similar experiences, e.g. grief or illness.
- Use the lows to gain a greater understanding and knowledge of yourself and others.
- Look for the lessons challenging time teach us and use them to help change. The ups and downs can be times of transformation, even though you often only see it as you look back and join up the dots.
- Use the experience to make you more resilient. You’ve been there before and have survived and can do it again. Resilience is this thing that helps you bounce back and the more resilient you are the quicker you bounce.
- Focus on the good, even in the downtimes – look for the opportunity that might be lurking there amongst the challenges.
- Remember the good times because you’ve been there before and will be there again, even though you’re not feeling it now and don’t know how you will again in the future. But you will at some point, even if life is never quite the same. It might be different but there will be ups.
- Focus on what you appreciate now. It might be regarding something in the past but you’re thankful for it now.
- Turn your attention on the now. Don’t worry about an unknown future, because when we experience the lows of life we’re often fearful of what might happen in the future.
- Practice mindfulness. Don’t fight what’s happening but give it your attention and let it be.
- Allow yourself to feel, but without judgement.
- Just go with it – accept what you can’t change and change what you can.
- Be forgiving of yourself, the past and others. Forgiveness is a release.
- Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself not hard on yourself.
- Give yourself time and space.
- Finally remember that everything passes in time.
“The sun will set and the sun will rise, and it will shine upon us tomorrow in our grief and our gratitude, and we will continue to live with purpose, memory, passion, and love.” Brent Schlender
Episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast
You can hear us talking about all of this and more on episode 64 of the Changeability Podcast.
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Thank you for reading and listening and we look forward to being with you again next week.