Life’s a Bumpy Road

Life has plenty of good days and smooth sailing. But, let’s face it…life can also be a bumpy road. For most of us, there are more than one or two hiccups along the way. When we’re lucky, more of the bumps we encounter in life are temporary and don’t have a lasting or devastating impact. Still, any bump in the road has the potential to present a challenge and influence our level of happiness at least for the moment.

It’s normal to have an emotional response to an unexpected challenge or bump in the road… even the smaller ones. As we face the challenges on the road of life, there are things we can do to help make them easier to face and move beyond. Here are a few suggestions you may find helpful when encountering bumps in the road.

Some suggestions that may help...

  • Take a step back. A challenge or problem may seem a lot less troubling with a little distance. Ask yourself if whatever has happened will feel as unsettling or upsetting after some time has passed. Will it matter as much tomorrow? Or next week? Or next month? Or next year? If not, perhaps it isn’t really quite as big a deal as it seems right now.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask for some help. In today’s world, you don’t have to go it alone. Nowadays, people talk much more openly about the issues they face in life. It’s common to share life’s challenges with family and friends and work together to come up with solutions. Mental health professionals and life coaches also can be helpful when the bumpy road of life seems especially challenging.

  • Change what you can and accept what you can’t. If there’s something you can do to improve or address an issue, take action. Do whatever you can to make things better. If there’s absolutely nothing you can do about an issue or change its impact, try not to spend too much time agonizing over it. Holding on to negative emotions and letting them fester will only hurt you. Acceptance can make it much easier to move on.

  • Distract yourself. Sometimes waiting for something to pass may be the only way to get beyond it. When it comes to unexpected bumps in the road of life, concentrating on something else to take your mind off the issue for a while can help a lot. Try to involve yourself in something you enjoy that will help you feel better.

  • Don’t beat yourself up. When things go wrong in life, people often look for things they may have done wrong that contributed to creating the issue. In many instances, there’s simply no way to go back and redo something once it has happened… no matter how much you may wish you could. What’s done is done. But, you can learn from every mistake and do things differently next time. It’s also possible, and often helpful, to offer an apology for a mistake if it has had an undesirable impact on someone else’s life.

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