When Life Throws You a Curveball
Duke diet & fitness
Even if you're not a baseball fan, you know a curveball is a tricky pitch: It doesn't follow the path you expect, it can surprise you by arriving when you're not ready for it, and if you're not careful, it can leave you with a painful bruise. That's why we refer to unexpected developments in life as curveballs.
Change can be an unsettling experience. And yet, it's been said that the one thing you can count on in life is change. Life's curveballs often force you into situations you wouldn't have chosen otherwise. However, if you look at change as an opportunity rather than an obstacle, you can harness the opportunity to change and guide it to your advantage.
The key is to use problem-solving skills when you're coping with unexpected change. Identify the problems that the change presents, come up with a plan for dealing with them, and then try the plan out and adapt it as necessary. In addition, try these tips:
• Look at the big picture. This can help you gain perspective on how the change fits into your life. It's the whole game that counts, not a single inning.
• Stay on base. Turn to the constants in your life — your values, beliefs, and passions — as a way to offset the discomfort the unknowns of change can bring.
• Be realistic. Expect that there will be some difficulties along the path of change and that things may not happen as quickly or as easily as you want.
• Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise, and eat a balanced diet. Avoid self-destructive coping techniques like binge eating, drinking too much, or burning the candle at both ends. They'll just leave you less able to cope with the stress of change.
• Ask for help. If the change is too confusing or overwhelming to cope with on your own, ask for help in facing the challenge from others.
Take some time this week to think about how you've handled change in your life in the past and what you'd like to do differently going forward. Are there changes in your life you are fighting now? Write in your journal about what they are and how they could be good for you. Soon, life's curveballs won't throw you for such a loop.
Show hospitality to strangers for, by doing that, some have entertained angels unawares.
Never stop helping others because others think that they abuse you. That stranger can be Jesus and you lose the opportunity to serve, even in something simple.
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