Emotional Wellbeing


Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

How to stop struggling


stressed out photo

How to stop struggling

Life was never meant to be a struggle…or was it? What do you believe? What do you think? Is your life a struggle? If you expect life to be a struggle it probably will be. If you don’t expect it to be, it’s more likely that life will be easier to you. It’s not what happens to you but how you perceive what happens to you. Your thoughts create emotions which ‘colour’ your life – either in brighter tones for positive thinking or in darker tones for negative thinking.

Yes, shit happens. This is true – no one is immune. We can make these events worse or better though by the thinking we have around these events. It is that simple although not always that easy to apply. For me it’s a work in progress but when I choose to select thoughts that help me see a situation as less hopeless and I maintain hope/faith – my mood is better and therefore it follows logically that my quality of life is perceived by me to be better.

When we struggle and push too hard, we end up exhausted by all the resistance we create.Struggle makes life unnecessarily difficult. There is no reward for struggling although some people seem to see struggle as noble. This is partly down to the fact that we are conditioned to accept struggle in life. Many of us hate school yet we are forced to go for twelve years. This effectively teaches us that life is about having to do things we hate because that’s just how it is. We begin to accept and we stop challenging.

Struggle represents conflict – something in your life is out of tune. Are you being true to yourself? Are you in denial about what you are doing with your life?  As adults we are workaholics and we pass this stress on to our children. Stress and struggle are like contagious diseases.

How to stop struggling

1) Identify struggle in your life

We struggle without even realising that we’re struggling. Do a struggle-audit on your life. Where have you built in struggle? Are you forcing yourself to fit into a lifestyle because that is what you feel is expected? You have more choice than you think.

2) What’s your attitude?

Do you see struggle as noble? Are you emotionally tangled up in drama and struggle? If this is you, it may take time to reprogramme your thinking and attitude. Being ‘in the flow’ and feeling calmer happens when you let go of struggle and let go of those things you have kept in your life out of duty or ignorance. Let go of the idea that being more relaxed means you can’t be a super achiever. Being free and relaxed helps you to figure out where your life is going and if you are spending your valuable time as well as you could be. The more you relax, the more you get done.

3) Increase what is pleasurable in your life

Art museums, rock concerts and opera – entertain yourself and introduce more fun into your life. Look for beauty around you. Take the scenic route and avoid the fastest route for a change. Treat yourself to a massage. Plan time when you do very little.

4) Don’t take life so seriously

Laughter really is the best medicine. You take in 6 times more oxygen when you laugh. Watch more comedy…see the funny side wherever possible.

5) Be assertive

We often say “yes” when we would like to say “no”. Agreeing to do things that leave us pressed for time and feeling stressed leads to struggle. Learn to say what you mean and maintain healty boundaries. It is up to you to maintain those boundaries and be clear with others when they are overstepping the mark.

Learn to live a life that involves time for you, where you aren’t constantly living up to the expectations of others (ask yourself  – who am I doing this for?). Give yourself some time out and resist the guilt. This is the start along the path to a life with less struggle.

Mandy X




Photo by CollegeDegrees360