By Vidagdha Madhav Das

It’s natural to feel low when things aren’t going your way. But don’t fall into the spiral of negativity; don’t lose hope.

Isn’t something going right as well?

Recognize things that are going right; savor simple joys; remember the people who are in your corner; discover the hidden gifts that life is offering you through this difficulty. Understand that happiness is a result of your approach to life, not what happens to you.

Who gets all that one aspires for? Everything one gets is what is destined for one. Hence all must seek satisfaction in whatever they receive. – Niti Sastra

Am I dwelling on a past that cannot be rectified, or planning for a future that cannot be reached?

The wise do not lament for what is lost, nor do they hanker for the unattainable. – Mahabharath

Learn from the past rather than grumbling over it; plan for the future rather than worrying about it. Set goals that are SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Even modest goals, when accomplished, will boost your confidence to achieve bigger ones. On the other hand, unrealistic goals, when unaccomplished, will drain your confidence to achieve even smaller ones.

Am I just feeling overwhelmed by the situation?

O son of Kunti, the nonpermanent appearance of happiness and distress, and their disappearance in due course, are like the appearance and disappearance of winter and summer seasons. They arise from sense perception, O scion of Bharata, and one must learn to tolerate them without being disturbed. – Bhagavad Gita 2.14

Every situation is temporary; this too is just another short segment in the timeline of your life. Have patience. Do you care a fig now about a situation that was a matter of serious concern, say one, two or 10 years ago?

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Am I blaming others for this situation?

Failing in his endeavors, a fool blames others and punishes the innocent. – Mahabharath

Unlike other games, wherein you can either win or lose, in the blame game you always lose – because you fail to see the ball in your court.

Let go of the grudges and be in a positive mindset. Turn to spiritual practices to tame your mind.

O mighty-armed son of Kunti, it is undoubtedly very difficult to curb the restless mind, but it is possible by suitable practice and by detachment. – Bhagavad Gita 6.35

Am I shrugging off the idea of seeking help from others?

Don’t isolate yourself, trying to figure it out all – on your own. Perhaps you are too caught up with the situation to see it for what it is; look from someone else’s point of view to find a different perspective. Consult someone or get a second opinion; the sooner the better. It is not a disgrace to seek help from others in times of need.

Humility is a bitter, pungent, burning, unintoxicating and revolting medicine, but drink it deeply and regain your sobriety. – Mahabharath

Am I forgetting that God is with me, if only I turn to him?

Are you forgetting the invisible hand of God in the creation and in your life? The Gita teaches that God is seated in the heart of every living being as a well-wishing friend. If you turn to him through prayers, you can experience inner peace even amid this difficulty.

The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy. – Bhagavad Gita 18.61

A person in full consciousness of Me, knowing Me to be the Supreme enjoyer of all sacrifices, the Supreme controller of all planets, and the well-wishing friend of all living entities, attains peace from the pangs of material miseries. – Bhagavad Gita 5.29

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