being at peace with stressful life experiences

by Marissa Håkansson

It’s very easy to take life personally and let stressful experiences get the better of us. The problem with feeling like the victim in our stressful experiences is that we start to wonder, why us? Why aren’t things going our way?

We start believing we are flawed, or that if somehow if we had done things differently life would treat us kindly.  However, if we look more closely at this, we’ll see that we can take a different perspective.

We all experience challenging circumstances in life.  However, life itself is impersonal. Life isn’t all about us. And the world, or others, aren’t ‘out to get us’ in anyway.

It’s only our thoughts and perspective that might lead us to believe that. Because every event or experience in life, is neutral. It simply is what it is, and the amount of energy we put into deliberating over it, is entirely up to us.

This is a good thing! It means we can take positive action on things we want to change and then let go of whether or not it turns out how we planned.

We can speak our truth and express ourselves openly without being hurt if we don’t please others. We can dream about (and create) seemingly impossible projects without living in fear of failure.

Because, regardless of how we respond to our stressful experiences, life will go on.

The sun will rise and fall, the seasons will change, and people will be born and pass away. And in your life too, there will be happiness and sadness, celebration and grieving, achievements and challenges, gain and loss.

It’s a part of life, and getting attached to only the ‘good’ and rejecting what feels ‘bad’ won’t serve you. You’ll only get caught deeper in a cycle of thoughts, convincing yourself that you drew the short straw in life.

But when you open yourself to genuinely experience and appreciate both ends of the spectrum, you’ll find you’ll suffer less. You’ll see the gift in even the most difficult of circumstances, you won’t be offended if others don’t always agree with your opinions, and you’ll recognise that just because you feel pain, you don’t need to be miserable.

I know this might sound easier said than done when faced with challenging circumstances, so here’s three things you can do find more peace when you’re dealing with stressful life experiences:

1. Spend time connecting with nature. Being in the presence of nature, and appreciating its power and beauty, can help you recognise that you are one part of a magnificent whole. It can leave you feeling humbled at the wonder and intelligence of the wider world in which we live, and put your life challenges into perspective. Nature can help you be grateful for simply being part of life.

2. Look for the lesson in your experience. It’s all too easy to see what’s wrong or what’s not going so well for you in life, particularly when you’re finding an experience stressful. But when you can look for what’s serving you in a challenging situation, what you’re learning, and how the experience will help you evolve into the best version of who you are, you will feel more empowered.

3. Turn personal challenges into contribution. Our biggest crises are often our biggest blessings. They can wake us up to who we truly are and inspire us to greater things. When you can use a challenging or stressful situation to grow, learn, and then share that learning with others, you’ll find greater meaning and appreciation for your life experiences.

What would transform in you own life if you were at peace with your stressful circumstances and stopped taking life so personally?

If you’d like support on being at peace within yourself and your life, then I invite you to reach out connect with me, or request a complimentary consultation. I’d be happy to help you.


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Selected photography by Heidi Pultar