Responding To Trouble

Health and Fitness Mental Health



I find it so interesting that different people can have exactly the same things happen to them but each will respond in a different manner. One person might get drunk. Another might attempt suicide. A third could seek professional help. A fourth may discuss the situation with a friend or neighbour. A fifth person might not even pay attention or notice that there is trouble.

That’s what makes us human. We each have thoughts, feelings and behaviours that we have learned over the years in order to navigate life.

So, now that there is such easy access to news from around the world even as it is occurring, we can feel inundated with trouble in our own homes. Turning on a television or computer invites that trouble into our personal life.

Have you considered how you respond to trouble? Let’s look at three basic ways that you might have adopted:

1. SAD – It is hard to be hurt or see others being hurt. Often sadness accompanies a feeling of helplessness – either because the harm has already been done or cannot be prevented. When we are sad for a period of time, immobility can prevent us from functioning in a healthy manner. We might be tempted to stay in bed, ignore our responsibilities and allow our low mood to colour everything we say and do.

2. MAD – Anger is usually fueled by fear. When a person is afraid that they will not be able to accomplish a valued goal, they may lash out at those around them. It is healthy to release the anger but not by abusing others either emotionally or physically. Destruction of property is also not a good choice when it comes to dealing with injustice or upset.

3. GLAD – Many people view trouble as difficult but necessary for growth. They are able to see the lessons learned and ways that the trouble has strengthen them. Their attitude is one of gratitude despite the fact that going through the trouble is something most of us do not want to experience.

There has always been trouble on earth. Much of it involved facing circumstances that were previously unknown. Uncontrollable weather, natural disasters, have been interspersed with wars, economic problems and illnesses. But mankind has survived despite severe trauma.

And we will continue to survive in the future.

How you will survive is largely your choice. It is totally acceptable to be sad or mad but staying in these emotions for a long periods of time will destroy your mental and physical health as well as your ability to grow and prosper.

Consider how much trouble you are inviting into your life. How are you handling the chaos at a personal level?

Are you sad, mad or glad?

And once you have realized where you are, decide if this stance is helpful to you and others.

Perhaps it is time to make some changes.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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