7 Healthy Ways to Deal When Life Gets Tough

4 min read

Handling a hard day can feel impossibly hard to do, but powering through difficulties is necessary when it comes to learning and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Marc Chernoff, co-author of the New York Times Bestseller Getting Back to Happy, says that reminding himself that hard days are learning experiences is key to personal growth. “On particularly hard days when I feel that I can’t endure, I remind myself that my track record for getting through hard days is 100 percent so far,” he notes. “Pain is something to carry willingly, just like good sense. Because you can only learn how strong you are in every important area of your life when being strong is the only choice you have.”

According to Marc, how you handle things that don’t go your way is what really matters most. “You should stand up for your right to feel pain, to endure it, to deal with the hard realities of life and love and work, as you grow into the strongest, wisest, truest version of yourself.” Read on for seven healthy suggestions that’ll arm you with strength to persevere.

Photo courtesy of Marc and Angel Chernoff.

7 Healthy Ways to Deal When Life Gets Tough

  1. Breathe deeply. Breathe deep; calmness can be a superpower,” Marc advises. “An ability to not overreact or take things personally keeps your mind clear and your heart at peace. Pay attention to what it’s like to be you, without the drama. There is nothing to fix, nothing to change, nowhere else to go—there’s just you, breathing, being, with presence, without judgment. Close your eyes and breathe.”


  1. Embrace humanness. Your inner critic can contribute to stress, feelings of anxiety, and maybe worst of all, negative self-talk when facing disappointment. Marc believes that learning to accept yourself can help you maintain your smartness and composure while sharing your talents. “Know that you can fail and still be smart, capable and talented; you can let people down and still be worthwhile and deserving of love and admiration. Everyone has disappointed someone they care about at some point.” He also reminds us that everyone makes mistakes because it’s part of being human.


  1. Narrow your focus. Can you focus on the next few moments, hour or just today? Marc says, “No matter what’s happening, you can resourcefully fight the battles of just one day. It’s only when you add the battles of those two mind-bending eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly painful and complicated.” Step back and start smaller; before you know it, you’ll have moved your mountain.


  1. Lighten up. You might feel good about all you can accomplish on a normal day, but it’s important to give yourself permission to lighten the load when things get rough. “Remind yourself that you can’t lift a thousand pounds all at once anyway, yet you can easily lift one pound a thousand times,” Marc offers. “Small, incremental daily efforts will get you there, through thick and thin.”


  1. Phone a friend. Whether your tough day is the result of something personal or professional, Marc is quick to remind that you never need to go at it alone. “Let someone in when you’re in a dark place,” he advises. “Don’t expect them to solve your problems; just allow them to face your problems with you. Give them permission to stand beside you, even though they won’t necessarily be able to pull you out of the dark place you’re in.”


  1. Consider your progress. You might have a long way to go, but it can be helpful to reflect on how far you’ve come when you’re feeling down, upset or unmotivated. “Appreciate your progress,” Marc offers.


  1. Practice gratitude. “Life is far from perfect, but it is good,” Marc states. “Happiness is letting go of what you assume your life is supposed to be like right now and sincerely appreciating it for everything that it is—even when things aren’t as you want them to be.” It might take digging deep, but can you challenge yourself to find something you’re grateful for in the current moment? Acknowledging what you do have can make a positive and powerful difference.


Feeling like your struggle is deeper than just the everyday blues? Here’s a few ways to cope when depression enters the picture.

About The Author

Krista Gray

Krista Gray

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.

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