Have you ever been going through a really difficult time in your life, perhaps when things are seemingly snowballing and increasing in absurdity? You know what I mean. It’s like when you get laid off from your job, which is surely bad enough. But then, in that same week your boyfriend breaks up with you, your cat eats something weird and needs an expensive surgery and your hot water heater breaks. You stumble going up the stairs and break your toe and your smart phone falls in the toilet.

I could go on but you get the idea. We’ve all been there.

Those tough times happen to all of us. And when we’re going through them we inevitably end up on social media and come across memes that remind us “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” or “There are better things in store of us on the road ahead”.

Both true, to be sure, but when you’re actually going through all of that stuff don’t those chirpy little sayings just make you want to punch somebody?

The reality is, when you’re going through those very tough times you might find yourself kicking into survival mode where you’re willing to do whatever needs to be done to get through your situation. Or you might go the opposite route and succumb to a strong desire to hide away under the covers until the storm passes.

But if you’re in the middle of a big challenge you don’t want to stay stuck there. It’s important to take action to move closer to where you want to be. But you’ll get to a happier, easier place faster if you also take the time to shift some things in your mind.

The next time you find yourself facing challenges that leave you at your wit’s end keep the following three tips in mind. Loss and change are inevitable in life, and truthfully no one gets to go through the human experience without a few bumps and bruises along the way.  Here’s how to navigate through the tough stuff quicker and in a way that might even leave your sense of humor intact.

  1. Remember, This Could Actually Be a Good Thing.

No matter what you’re going through, whether financial hardship, a difficult relationship or some other challenge, consider the possibility that you’re going to end up in either a better place than you were in before, or that you’re going to receive some kind of valuable gift or wisdom from going through the experience.

So often we want situations to be different than they are, but then in hindsight we see the value of having endured whatever it was that we went through. This knowledge might not make it any easier when you’re actually faced with the difficult situation, but when you adopt an attitude of “this too shall pass” then you can begin to relax about having to control the outcome.

Try to not judge the situation as “good” or “bad” but allow it to unfold. Change is hard for many of us, but remember that it’s also where growth and opportunities come from.

  1. Don’t Play the Blame Game

Whenever we find ourselves in a challenging situation it is tempting to want to blame someone else for our troubles. The thing is, even if others have a role to play, or some responsibility in whatever is happening to us, there is no benefit to focusing your attention on the perceived wrongs of others.

You may not be able to control what’s happening to you, but you can always control how you react to it. Resist the urge to blame or trash talk and focus instead on moving forward towards a more positive place. You might even try this exercise in forgiveness as you think about the person who you believe has wronged you. As you envision that person say to them, silently or out loud, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you, I love you.”

And yes, you read that right. Practice saying that to the person you think wronged you. The truth is, that holding onto anger or resentment hurts you more than anyone. This idea comes from Hawaii and the practice of forgiveness called Ho’oponopono and it is extremely powerful and empowering.

  1. Focus Forward.

This is a hard one to do when you’re in the middle of big challenges, but it is so, so important. The Law of Attraction and many of the world’s wisest teachers tell us how critically important it is to focus on those things that we want in life. What we focus on we get more of, so if you’re in the middle of some really tough times and you focus your attention and thoughts on how tough these times are, well, guess what happens?

That’s right – more of the same, which is the exact opposite of the thing that you actually want to happen. This means that you need to get out of the “woe is me” mentality, or of looking so hard at what’s wrong with the current situation, and start focusing instead on what you want to build, moving forward. The trick to all of this is to create a picture in your mind without being too attached to the details. If your boyfriend just broke up with you and your future picture involves you and him getting married and having kids, well, that may mean that you’re sending the universe some mixed signals.

Maybe the ex-boyfriend is your ultimate Prince Charming or maybe he’s not, but rather than being too focuses on a single person it would be better to concentrate on the qualities you want in a life partner. In that way the Universe can nudge you in just the right direction. Just stay focused on where you’re going, not where you are (especially if you’re not happy with your current circumstances).