I’ve been a bit discouraged this past week. To be fair, I think a lot of people have been. There’s plenty to be discouraged about, and it seems like it’s coming from every part of our world. Back in January, I actually wrote a post about making it through a tough time. That’s right, in January. In the United States. Maybe I should have saved that advice for another time. But when I thought about that post, I realized one of my keys to getting through a tough time is pushing through, but I never elaborated on that idea, so I’d like to build on that today.
A Different Way to View ‘Pushing Through’
Up until a few years ago, I thought that the phrase ‘pushing through’ was one of the most unhealthy, toxic phrases someone could use to describe their health. In way, it can be. There is a very unhealthy aspect of that phrase, where ‘pushing through’ means ignoring anything negative in your life and pushing it down so you don’t mentally or emotionally have to deal with it. If you haven’t been exposed to any other uses of this phrase, hear me out! I know why you’d be skeptical – I was too – but I also know why pushing through can actually be healthy if you do it the right way.
It Doesn’t Have to Be Forever
My best advice about pushing through came from someone who told me to look at things in the short-term. They said that pushing through doesn’t actually have to be something you do for years and years. In fact, they found it much easier by pushing through for hours, or even minutes, at a time. This also changes your relationship with the feelings you might be avoiding. Some people push through things indefinitely so that they never had to deal with that specific thought, feeling or emotion. That’s what I thought it meant. But now, I know that by pushing through for a few hours or a few days, I’m not avoiding the situation, I’m just making sure that when I deal with those feelings, I’m in a safe/secure place to deal with it. By changing the way we view this idea of ‘pushing through,’ we can work to have a better relationship with our emotions.
I know that there will also be the days where this isn’t possible. There’s a chance that these moments are few and far between, and you’re unable to push through. Mental health disorders can do a number on anyone. And while I hope this advice isn’t fruitless for most of you, I can see how this way of thinking isn’t always the way to go. Like any of aspect of mental health, what works perfectly for one person may not work for another. That’s why it’s important to recognize that, and act accordingly.
Whether you’re discouraged because our world’s on fire (literally and figuratively) or because your brain isn’t being too kind, I hope you push through if you can. It sounds daunting to try to make it to next year, next month or even next week, but pushing through might just mean getting to the next minute, the next moment. When it comes to mental wellness, sometimes that’s all we can get, and it may be all we need. Wishing you folks all the best this month!
What is your experience with the phrase ‘pushing through’? Is it positive or negative? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments!