“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.”

~ Charles R. Swindoll

Unfortunately, dealing with problem after problem is something many of us have to deal with on a daily basis.

Sometimes the problem is your own, or even worst, it is some body else’s and we must fix it.

As much as we wish to have control over what happens to us, the truth is life has its own plan sometimes. We can point ourselves in certain directions, avoid situations that we don’t want to be in, we can do everything according to our kind of plan. And yet, at the end of the day things are going to happen that are just out of our hands.

When coming face to face with problems, it’s important to remember that we may not have control over what happens, but we do have control over our reaction to it. Panic and stress come naturally, but they’re not our only options.

By putting our problems into perspective, we can learn to better control our reactions and tackle our problems more efficiently, one at a time.

Here are 5 things to remember when things come crashing down on you:

1. Take a big breath and exhale. You’ve done this before.

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Problems can be big and scary. They can feel like they are bigger than us and our capabilities to handle them.

The truth is however, at this point, most of us are master problem solvers. We have dealt with problems before, and we can do it again.

Think of a problem like a roller coaster ride. You get on and you feel terrified. As you’re being pulled up the first …., you are buckled in and you are heading for your first drop. You know there is a number of ups and downs and even upside downs ahead of you. But you also know that in less than 2 minutes, your ride will always be over.

Most problems last more than 2 minutes but just like a roller coaster ride, they are filled with ups and downs that lead to an inevitable stopping point.

And then it’s on to the next one.

The first thing to do when a problem hits you is to take a breath and remember that you have done already dealt with something either the same or similar before. Remember that almost every single problem has an end.

2. One year from now, will this problem matter?

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As we are overloaded with problems throughout our lifetimes, it’s important we learn to differentiate the big ones from the small ones.

The small ones may feel just as stressful as the big ones, but when looked at with perspective, they don’t deserve our stress. Things like broken down cars or lost cell phones shouldn’t equal the same amount of stress such as life changing issues like job loss or divorce.

When deliberating on how much to let something effect you, ask yourself, “Will this matter to me one year from now?”

If the answer is no, then it shouldn’t matter that much to you right now either.

Pick and choose what you give your attention to. You should be the one deciding where to spend your time and energy, not your circumstances.

3. Could this somehow be a good thing?

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Problems are often blessings in disguise. It may be something you realize right away, or months and years down the line. This problem may force you to grow, learn something new, or push you towards a new opportunity. The truth is, every problem comes with at least one positive outcome.

Find that outcome and you won’t be wanting to pull your hair out anymore. If you firmly believe that everything happens for a reason, life begins to get much easier. Instead of going against the grain of life, you start to learn how to flow with it.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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Most of us have a hard time asking for help. We have been taught by society that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

But asking for help is one of the best ways to help fix a problem. Never be afraid to reach out to friends or family members and ask them for their assistance. Whether your problem is financial, practical, or emotional, it is always alright to ask for a little help. Everybody needs help at one time or another.

Don’t let your pride get in the way of being happy.

5. Did you do your best?

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At the end of the day, all you can do is your best. Some problems you will be able to fix, others you will have to live with their consequences. The important thing isn’t necessarily if you over come your problem. The most important thing is that you gave them your best effort.

Things are going to be out of your control and you won’t be able to fix everything. Do your best and be o.k with whatever the outcome is.

When you do your best, there is nothing left to regret. Sometimes life has more power than us, but that doesn’t mean that it is stronger than us.

Be strong and always give your problems your best effort.

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“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

~ Epictetus