If you were going to run a marathon, a whopping 26 miles, For most our physical ability wouldn't just appear we would need to follow a programme to build endurance and stamina and train regularly and we wouldn’t start training on the big day itself.

It would be sensible to prepare for this challenge, weeks, months, maybe even a year before the race. You would have a training programme and follow a pattern for success gradually increasing the distance to increase stamina. It makes sense that if you want to successfully conquer a physical challenge you train. Yet when it comes to our mental and emotional challenges we tend to overlook these principles.

When an event, situation, or circumstance triggers a negative or depleting emotional reaction from you. This is also know as a stressor. It could be of any nature, the demands of parenting, issues in the workplace: the inconsiderate family member; the cost of living; the failed MOT; the final exams; the leaking washing machine. You get the point.

These challenges happen all the time. It’s a guarantee in life.

So how do you make for “success” with these psychological challenges?

The same way you would make for success for a marathon race: training over time,  using programmes and resources designed and proven to help develop your emotional resilience and mental stamina. Just like training before a marathon, your psychological wellbeing is a matter of practice. With practice comes progress and the power to face, conquer and overcome life’s challenges.

Every mental and emotional challenge with which you are presented no matter the size or circumstance, can be successfully conquered with training. It starts with a change in your perspective on these challenges, it’s time to see them as an invitation to experience self compassion, love, courage, boldness, patience, light-heartedness, persistence, understanding, forgiveness, peace, and gratitude. And when you practice this perspective you increase the quality of your reactions and how you express them, and in doing so you reduce your mental and emotional anguish.

Psychological life challenges are guaranteed to happen throughout your life, so see your life like a perpetual marathon, presenting you with opportunities to practice shifting your perspective, developing and building your resilience and emotional and mental well being.

If you choose to embrace and seize every challenge no matter the size you will survive and succeed. These opportunities to train and grow in your positive qualities, character and virtue, you will soon begin to experience the freedom, happiness, satisfaction, and a greater sense of control in your life.

What do you choose?

© Debbie Huxton

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