Wondering what to do when life gets hard? Below, you’ll find 21 of my best tips for how to bounce back when life gets tough.
This is a matter I’m discussing regularly in my role as a life coach.
So, let’s dive in.
What Should I Do When Life Gets Hard?
I hope these ideas can keep you moving forward during tough times.
1. When Life Gets Hard, As It Sometimes Will
You’ll hear this phrase because it’s inevitable that life will sometimes be tough.
If tough times aren’t with you now, they will be coming.
On the surface, this sounds depressing. But this inevitability can help you move forward.
Sometimes, our emotions are sent plummeting further by questions like “why me?” or “what did I do to deserve this?”
It’s a redundant question, because challenges are coming for everyone.
They’re an unavoidable part of everyday life.
So, you’re not alone in dealing with hard times.
Perhaps you can take comfort in that, especially when you realize that good times are coming for everyone too.
More on that later…
2. Why Does Life Become Difficult?
There are endless potential answers to this question, and we’ll explore more throughout the guide.
First off though, let me remind you that good times cannot exist without challenging times. You certainly wouldn’t be able to appreciate them. There would be no point of comparison. You wouldn’t appreciate the good times if that’s all there was.
Of course, that also means there can’t just be hard times without good times around the corner.
Something to remember.
3. Accept What Is
Your resistance to reality only causes suffering. Without resistance, there can be no suffering. It’s better to accept what is than to long for what isn’t. See my guide on the best ways to learn acceptance and letting go to reduce your suffering during tough times.
4. Accept Your Challenge As Necessary
A key stage of acceptance is accepting that your challenge was handed to you for a reason.
You don’t have to know what that reason is right now.
Maybe it’s to open the door to your true calling. Perhaps it’s to teach you an invaluable lesson that you’ll use forever. It could be to prepare you for an even tougher challenge later on in life.
When you trust God or the universe to deliver the challenges you need, it becomes easier to get through them.
So, hold onto the attitude of “everything happens for a reason”.
For more on this topic, see my list of Clear Reasons To Trust The Timing Of Your Life.
5. “I Love When Life Gets Hard, It Means Something Better Is Coming.”
This is a popular motivational quote, which doesn’t appear to have been attributed to anyone. But I love it, because it’s true.
This isn’t just because good times have to follow hard times.
It’s also because when you face hard times, you’re forced to grow. You’re forced to become smarter and more resilient, which can only lead to more opportunities for you in the future.
You’ll never grow faster than in times of adversity. Without this pressure that life puts on us, most of us choose to remain as we are.
So, don’t spend too long moping around feeling sorry for yourself. Take this opportunity that the universe has given you. It’ll make your life better in the long run.
6. Stop Labeling Things As “Good” Or “Bad”
Sometimes you won’t get things your own way, but have you ever heard of a blessing in disguise? When you look back a few years into your past, you might realize you’ve experienced quite a few. You never would have met this person or had that opportunity if it wasn’t for a challenging experience. There’s probably something that you used to think was a problem that you don’t see as a problem anymore.
When we are classifying something as “good” or “bad”, we are jumping to conclusions because we haven’t seen the end of the journey yet.
In the spiritual realm, God is the Judge and there is never any question of any injustice. Remember, everything happens for a reason.
7. Focus On Solutions Instead Of Problems
Stop focusing on what you can’t do. What can you do to make the solution better?
Not sure? How about you brainstorm with a loved one, a life coach or a therapist?
Better yet, search online for stories from someone else who has gone through a similar situation.
8. Start Small
Sometimes, times can be so tough that your desired destination can seem impossibly far away. If that’s your situation, stop thinking about the destination for now. For some, this can be too intimidating.
Instead, ask yourself: what’s one step forward you can take today?
Take that first necessary step, then the next and the next. Before you know it, you’ll be so far down the path that your goals no longer seem unachievable.
9. Practice Gratitude
We can all stew on what we don’t have, or what has been taken away. But what good does that do?
When you switch your focus on what you do have, you’ll immediately feel better. Most likely, you’ll realize that a lot of people don’t have what you still do.
Gratitude is one of the few things you need to be happy, even during tough times.
So, make time during your day to be grateful for the things you have. You’ll soon see that things could be worse.
If you struggle to be grateful for the things you have, consider taking my 30 Days Of Gratitude Challenge
10. Practice Self-Care
This could be enjoying a long hot bath, going for a hike in nature or treating yourself to a delicious healthy meal.
You might scoff at these suggestions. Maybe your idea of self-care during tough times is a six-pack of beers with some pizza and ice-cream.
An extra ‘cheat day’ might not be so debilitating after you hear some bad news. But don’t make this a regular habit to cope with the hard times you’ve found yourself in.
The last thing you need during tough times is for your health to plummet into a downward spiral. That’s just going to make you feel worse, destroy your energy and kill your motivation to turn things around.
At times when things are spinning out of control, the one thing you can control is how you treat your body.
Now more than ever, it’s important to treat it well.
Perhaps the toughest part of so-called tough times is the mental anguish and anxiety that people put themselves through. It’s so common for people to drive themselves crazy with fear of what might happen in future, or what might happen if they don’t fix the problem.
This endless stream of different thoughts and fears make it even tougher to start moving in the right direction.
Meditation has so many mental health benefits, but one of the most important is the ability to stay calm in moments of adversity. Rather than being stuck in your thoughts and unable to take action, you’ll be able to stay in the present moment and focus on the tasks you need to do.
You can learn more about meditation in my list of proven ways to empty your mind effectively.
12. Seek Support From Friends And Family Members
This is perhaps the best way to remain positive when life gets tough. With support from your loved ones, you can make it through anything. Community and connection will be among the most fulfilling things you have in life, no matter what you’re going through.
There are so many families in third-world countries like Thailand, Vietnam or Myanmar who have barely enough money or resources to survive. But if you visit these places, you’ll often see these families smiling because they have each other. They have their community, they have their traditions.
So, don’t be afraid to ask for support when times get tough for you. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out.
13. When Life Gets Hard And You Feel Alone
If you’re struggling and feel like you have no loved ones to talk to, you can still reach out to a professional.
There are helplines, support groups, coaches or therapists. There are accomplished professionals ready to listen and help you deal with your feelings. They can work wonders on your emotional well-being, so there is no reason to go through hard times alone.
14. Learn From Your Experiences
Learn from your mistakes so you become wiser. Learn from your journey back to the top, so you become humble. Growth happens when you learn from your experiences.
15. How Do You Not Give Up When Life Gets Hard?
Here’s one thing I’d recommend above anything else: Find a life mission that makes you want to get out of bed and work every day, even when it’s raining horsecrap all around you.
When you have that one burning passion you want to live for, nothing will get in your way.
I’ve read stories of senior citizens over-powering the most debilitating illnesses, because they wanted to see their grandchildren graduate.
There are stories of celebrities defeating the most tremendous odds to live their dreams on a world stage.
There are parents who work three jobs so they can give their children the best chance at success in life.
When you have that true passion, it doesn’t matter how many hurdles that life puts in front of you. You will fall and get back up. You will eat as much crap as it takes until you reach the end of your chosen path.
At this point, giving up hope isn’t even an option.
16. Tell Yourself You’re Strong
At the start of the day, look forward into the mirror and tell yourself how strong, powerful and determined you are. Use all the energy and passion you have inside you when making these affirmations.
Your words matter. Your words can make a difference. Read my guide on life-changing affirmations for more information.
17. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
There is someone out there who has an easy life, compared to yours. There are successful people in this world who didn’t have to work as hard as you. This is a harsh truth of life.
But what use is it comparing your life to theirs? How does their existence affect yours?
Focus on the hand you’ve been dealt, and you’ll be better prepared to make the best of it.
Also, there is someone out there with an extremely hard life, compared to yours. It’s interesting how most people only bother comparing themselves to those who are better off.
18. “This Too Shall Pass”
It’s the way of the universe. Nothing in life is permanent. Change is the nature of the world itself. The present soon becomes the past. That’s why the phrase “this too shall pass” is so accurate. Remind yourself of this during good times and bad.
19. Pray And Have Faith
You’re entitled to your own thoughts about religion.
But here’s an undoubtable truth: faith in a higher power has helped billions of people get through tough times throughout their lives.
I’ve presented logical reasons why the hard times in your life will improve. I’ve given you practical steps to help you feel better and take forward action. Some people just need faith that their God will protect them in their time of need.
20. When To Do When Life Gets Hard Quotes
“Every adversity, every failure, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time, we fall.” – Confucius
“You will go through things and while you’re going through them, you can’t understand why it’s happening to you. But after you go through it, you get back then you look at it and you say “Oh, now I understand why I needed that lesson.” – Les Brown
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison
“Embrace every failure. Own it, learn from it, and take full responsibility for making sure that next time, things will turn out differently.” – Steve Jobs
21. When Life Gets Hard Books
- Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela
- Can’t Hurt Me – David Goggins
- The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck – Mark Manson
- Everything Is F*cked – Mark Manson
- Loving What Is – Byron Katie
How Do I Get Through Life?
Some people think a “good life” should be all sunshine and lollipops with no heartache, hard work or adversity.
Maybe that’s what’s awaiting us in the afterlife, who knows?
But if this was the way that real life went for anybody, we wouldn’t appreciate it anyway.
If it weren’t for occasionally feeling bad, how would we know what it means to feel good?
A life of endless hedonism would also be incredibly meaningless. Do you really want to have not overcome any challenges or struggles to achieve success in this world?
Anything in life that’s meaningful is supposed to be stressful. It will take you through tremendous highs and lows. A relationship with the person you love. Starting a family. Creating a business. Helping other people through their struggles.
This is where fulfilment, self-esteem and self-confidence are born; your ability to overcome adversity and find success anyway.
Ironically, the higher the highs that you try to achieve, the lower the lows may become.
Does that mean you shouldn’t try to achieve anything? That’s up to you. You can sit at home watching movies, not taking risks, not getting anything wrong and trying to avoid the pain of failure. Illness, tragedies, family deaths will all probably strike anyway.
So, my opinion on how to get through life is to charge in headfirst. Try a ton of tough things. Create connections with people. Try to help others. Accept that you’ll face disappointments, tragedies and heartbreak. Find those one or two passions that make you smile and want to keep living anyway.
The extreme highs and lows are a sign you’re living life the proper way.
If you are struggling to keep going, tell someone. Seek help from a professional if you have to. There are plenty of people who have hit rock bottom and recovered, but it’s much easier with the support of others.
Taking your own life might end the pain for yourself, but it can cause devastating pain for those closest to you.
If you think that no-one would miss you, tell someone that then go to the hospital. That is usually a lie that depression tells you. There are treatments for depression which are incredibly effective.
Remember: this too shall pass. There is a brighter future ahead for you, and I know you’re strong enough to take the steps to see it.
Thanks for reading my guide. I hope it helps you to start moving forward through whatever tough times you’re facing.
If you have any questions on this topic, please take a moment to write them in the comments.
I’m extremely grateful for all comments received, and I’ll do my best to respond as quickly as possible.