21 Ways to Cope

A stone carved monk's clasped hands

Updated October 14, 2018

Everybody runs into rough patches in life. That's the nature of life. Here are at least 20 enjoyable ways to transform the heaviness you may be feeling into light. Pick and choose!

Try not to isolate yourself. Align with a positive minded and emotionally healthy friend or friends. Engage with other people with no expectation of any kind of return. Just reach out and share yourself and your light. Just go do it.

Read a spiritually uplifting book in your time of need; try reading The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, or Autobiography of a Yogi. Your life will be changed!

Contemplate hope for something better. It may sound a little wishy-washy but it’s definitely a step up from where you are right now. Embracing hope will have you feeling better almost immediately.

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Step out into nature for a walk or visit. Let nature embrace and love you. Let the crickets, frogs and tree toads sing to you. Even the flowers and tree knows the sound vibrations to send you for your best and highest good. Befriending nature and acknowledging your oneness with it turns everything around. You will feel better.

Get out of town even if just for a few hours. Drive to a place you've been wanting to visit but kept putting it off. Enjoy and appreciate the change of scenery.

Remember that nothing is permanent. It will pass. Just rest in that knowing. Relax and allow it to move on past you.

Find something in your life to appreciate. Don’t just be grateful or thankful. Appreciate. This is a far deeper practice than thankfulness. Focus on that thing and your deep appreciation of it. If it begins to unfold along a winding path of appreciation of other things, go there.

Have at hand or in memory a number of mantras, quotes, sayings or passages to repeat either aloud or silently that resonate with and uplift you. 

Turn on some music and even better, sing and/or dance to it. The physical exercise of dancing will change your physiology and also your state of mind.

Adjust your physical posture. If you address your physiology, your mental and emotional states will follow suit. Stand or sit erect, relax your face and make yourself smile.

Go be in service to someone somewhere. Find where the homeless are. Buy bags of burgers and go hand them out. In winter, buy inexpensive knit hats, insulated socks and gloves and pass them out on the city streets to those who are homeless. Don’t put it off. Do it now.

Set up reminders in your smartphone to cue you throughout the day to stop for a moment and acknowledge the Divine lives within you as you. At this time acknowledge out loud and appreciate the Divine essence of creation, how it leads you, guides you, counsels you, and points you to the beautiful places in life.

Interrupt your old boring pattern. Stop doing everything the same way every day at the same time of the day. Mix it up. Right now. Get up and do something different.

Watch a comedy. Get laughing. You can't ever laugh too much.

Pray. Call on your celestial guides to help carry you through your challenge. They can't help if you don't ask. They are waiting to respond to your call!

Set up an altar with an unscented candle(s) and pictures or even statues of your favorite spiritual figures throughout history. Say your prayers in front of this altar and know you and these people are one and the same, you have only to realize it.

If you can afford it, go get a massage right away.

Cleanse the energetic envelope that surrounds your physical body by smudging it with sage or whisking a bird feather through it. Keep cleansing the bird feather by sharply whisking it down towards the floor every few seconds. You can also sounds bells or gently beat a drum in your energy field (also known as your auric field).

Resolve to change the behavior that has brought you to a place of overwhelm. Don't just decide. Resolve. Choose just one thing to change and then take one small action toward making that change and do it immediately, no matter how small or trivial that action might seem.

Refuse to entertain all thoughts that come furiously flying into the mind which lead to overwhelm. Practice and learn to deflect them. Change the subject immediately. You have the power, not they. This will help you to be in this moment NOW where there can be no overwhelm or worry.

Be with an animal. Go get near some animals, even if cows in a field. They will be present to you. They offer no judgment instead only mirroring to you the now moment and unconditional love.

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published on March 2, 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy and comprehensiveness.