For some, the scariest thing someone can do is ask for help. Whether it’s the fear of showing weakness or admitting that they had unrealistic, wishful thinking, asking for and accepting help takes great strength. Learning to accept the help loved ones offer can be a big hurdle but it can be very rewarding. Here are some tools to help make it easier.
Step 1: Notice resistance.
We all behave differently in moments of distress so it’s up to you to pay attention to what’s happening to you. Do you feel tightness in your chest, stomach or neck? Are your fists clenching? Do you feel tense and frustrated or show signs of anger? How is your breathing, is it shallow? Do you find yourself thinking “this is unfair” or “this shouldn’t be happening to me”? Are you avoiding the source of discomfort or focusing on the negative?
Pay attention to your own cues and watch what your mind and body are doing. The more aware you are of these reactions, the more you will be able to adjust.
Step 2: Allow for disassembly.
When our world starts to change it can be unsettling and so we react. This is 100% normal. Clinging to what once was does not allow you to live fully in this moment. Allow yourself to separate from your life as it was and accept what is now. Your circumstances may have changed but this allows you to create a new identity with what you have available. Allowing yourself to grow and learn in this new context can bring a refreshing sense of self.
Step 3: Find coping mechanisms.
Rather than denying and resisting the current situation, discover ways to embrace it and feel it fully. This may come through a vivid sense of humor, making light of a hard transition. Perhaps mindfulness or meditation will allow you to feel and sense what is without judgement. Surrounding yourself with loved ones or committing small acts of kindness for strangers may give you the strength to move beyond the difficulties of changing environments. Savor the small moments as much as possible and you will likely feel a change in focus.
What works for some may not work for you as we all have our own methods of coping. But when the time comes to ask for or receive help from others, remember that help comes from a source of love. It brings joy to the lives of others knowing they’re able to have an impact on your happiness and comfort. We are social creatures who depend on a tightly knit web of support. In the words of Eckhart Tolle, “Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”