Living paycheck-to-paycheck is an uncomfortable spot to occupy. With nothing in reserve, the slightest bump in the road can cripple you. Unfortunately, too many people can relate to the financial burden of barely scraping by each month. While the phrase obviously connotes one's financial situation, it can also apply to an emotional state.
When someone is living emotionally paycheck-to-paycheck, it means their mental wellness is always on tilt, ever so close to tipping over the edge from the adversities of life. While no one can avoid challenges, what they can do is manage their emotional bank account to get them through until it passes. Here are seven ways to stay off that emotional roller coaster.
1. Think long-term.
Over the course of time, everyone will experience both victories and defeats. Despite the ups and downs, true champions stay grounded when they win and steadfast during adversity. A long-range outlook forces one to realize that nothing—not our current emotion or situation—is permanent.
If you took a loss today, know that, in the big picture, it likely would not matter. How many frivolous frustrations have you had in the past that at the time felt like you where carrying the weight of the world?
2. Learn something from the pain.
The lingering twinge from defeat can be made worthwhile by learning something from it. One component all great success stories share is a great "overcoming adversity" tale. The sooner you can identify a positive takeaway from the situation, the quicker you can accelerate in the right direction.
3. Surround yourself with the right people.
When you are in an emotionally bad place, the last people you should be around are the "I told you so" or the "woe is me" types. Mature adults acknowledge that everyone will experience the downs but are strong enough not to let bad stuff sink them too long. Hang around with people who will be both supportive and encouraging, and you will find yourself bouncing back quickly.
4. Keep things in perspective.
Ask yourself—has anyone ever recovered from something like this before? No matter the low you are going through right now, chances are that somewhere, someone has faced worse and conquered it. Framing your situation in the right perspective can give you the confidence you need to carry on.
5. Alter your surroundings.
Snapping out of a funk can sometimes be as simple as getting a change of scenery. While we do not all necessarily have the luxury to jet off to an exotic locale to "clear" our heads, anyone can make a quick escape. Reverse your outlook by listening to your favorite upbeat music, going for a run or taking a drive to clear your head.
6. Move forward.
The operative word here is "move." When down, people often have the tendency to become paralyzed by emotion, literally staying in one place. Nothing is ever accomplished by hiding. Get moving—create action and forward momentum.
7. Laugh it off.
Laughter can sometimes be the cure for what ails all. Take care to laugh at yourself, the situation or quite frankly—anything. It is amazing what a good belly laugh can do for the soul.
How you react to the world and the situations it presents is going to be the story of your life. Living emotionally paycheck-to-paycheck is a mind-taxing existence. Redirect your focus accurately to stay off the roller coaster.
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