How to Cope with Difficulties

How to Cope with Difficulties

I never truly learned how to cope with difficulties growing up, so I quickly turned to drugs and alcohol as a solution to experiencing negativity in my life. After 15 years of sobriety and walking with the Lord, I am by no means perfect at handling my emotions, but I have still learned and matured quite a bit. I am amazed at what the Lord has done for me in this regard.

As everyone discovers, no life is without difficulties. Why this is the case is the topic for a whole other blog, if not a series of books. While the world will offer us false solutions to our troubles like money, drugs, alcohol, or other sensual pleasures, all will fail to learn how to cope with difficulties. Not only will we fall into the danger of worshipping or heavily relying on these things, but they seem to take something from us that is not worth giving up if we depend upon them too much.

That is not to say that some things, like money and alcohol, are evil in themselves. I am only saying that the unchecked love of money and alcohol can cause much damage. Plus, they, along with other unhealthy coping mechanisms, can cause more difficulties that one must cope with as well.

Here are five ways to cope in a healthy, more productive manner to help deal with difficulties without causing more damage. We must remember these coping mechanisms will not remove problems from our lives, but they will make us better at handling the challenges we face.

  1. Let difficulties become mnemonic devices to remind you of the God within you.

Transform your difficulties and any negativity in your life into a reminder that God is with you. This will make the things you struggle with into signs that point you to the truth that God is present to you, and He is closer to you than the air you breathe.

Your difficulties will become tools that assist you in growing closer to the Lord as you begin spending quality time with Him every time you face your problem. They become more than just painful moments but become signals of God’s friendship with you. Furthermore, spending time with God will give you a good understanding of your identity and your life, which will help you encounter future difficulties with a big-picture mindset. This will help you see your challenges in the light of the greater reality that you live in, giving you perspective and consolation as you genuinely grasp the goodness and power of the One who is with you.

2. Give your mind a rest with hobbies or activities.

There is absolutely something to say about the human person living out their humanity by participating in fun activities or hobbies that give them quiet pleasure and joy. I say this is participating in your humanity because only humans can have hobbies in this world. It signifies the greater way of life we can enjoy among the other creatures on this Earth.

Having a hobby or fun activity to enjoy is relaxing and allows you to be less wound up with stress when you encounter stressful moments. In other words, it is easier to handle more pressure because you are lessening your stress levels through the hobby and fun activities.

In a way, it is a preemptive strike that you take to ensure you are more equipped to handle your difficulties ahead of time. This next practice is similar. However, it is more so utilized after you have experienced a problem.

3. Let out your stress in a healthy way.

When you experience difficulties, it causes stress. This stress can build up within you to cause more health problems, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Therefore, it’s important to release some of this pressure in a way that will not cause more difficulties that bring more stress.

Find ways to relieve this build-up of stress. Consult your doctor or someone you trust to find ways to let off some steam healthily. There are a variety of activities you can participate in: sports, gardening, lifting weights, running, woodworking, if you are an extravert you can do something with others, if you are an introvert you can do something by yourself, get into sketching or pottery, take long walks or there are many other activities that will help you destress and relax.

It’s important to do whatever you have committed to on a regular basis so that you are able to regularly ease the stress you experience from facing difficulties. Plus, the more time you do one of these activities, the better you will get at them, and thus they will be more relaxing reducing your stress to a greater degree.

4. Manage your expectations.

Another way to lessen the effects of stress is to take measures beforehand to ensure that you have realistic expectations about your life and what takes place within it. Otherwise, you may find your difficulties exacerbated and more stressful.

This means you should live in reality, expect difficulties to come, but also know that none are insurmountable. Always hope for the best, but we cannot expect life to be perfect. If we expect perfection and complete comfort on earth, we will find it more burdensome to deal with difficulties.

To manage your expectations, take time to think more about your life. Give yourself some time each day to think about what is taking place and what most will take place each day. If you have big choices to make, think about what might happen if you decide to take each option that lays before you. I know there is not a lot of time these days, but you can think when you drive, do the dishes, or maybe give it 15 minutes before you turn on Netflix at night.

5. Alleviate your difficulties with gratitude.

This is by no means a cheap way of saying “forget about your problems and look on the bright side”. However, studies from more notable academic communities have shown that gratitude is associated with greater happiness. Essentially, if you are thinking about how good you have it, you tend to handle the difficulties in your life better.

I could write a whole other blog post on how to be grateful, but to start, keep yourself from focusing on what you do not have. Instead, keep in mind the aspects of your life that you are happy with. By shifting your focus to the good in your life, you will be happier with it. If this is hard for you at first, do not give up. Ask God to help you and keep working at it.

These are not the only practices you can perform to cope with the difficulties you face in life. However, they are still good ones. Are there anymore that you have found useful in your life that you would like to share? Send them to us at We would love to hear from you!

If you or someone you know is seeking more help with dealing with difficulties, we can help! At Zenith Ministries, we have been running a successful one-on-one mentorship program where we offer insight, real-life solutions, inner healing, and spiritual guidance to those who need it. Reach out today to receive a free consultation to see how we can help you overcome your struggles and enter the beautiful life you were meant for. You can email us at or call/text at 404-333-8978. More info at

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