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Photographed by Carl Dawson, Living Exposure, in Delray Beach, FL.

Life can bring you down. It can throw so many curve balls at you that you just feel like giving up. But life can also build you up. It can give you the greatest high, better than any drug ever could, if you know how to live it to the fullest.

For me, life has given me a handful of both good and bad experiences. This year in particular, I've experienced many changes, have overcome many obstacles and most recently, have been dealing with a very difficult, frustrating, mentally and emotionally draining situation.

But despite what I've been dealing with and what many great people in my life have been dealing with, one thing is certain: This too shall pass. 

I know that thought is sometimes hard to fully grasp in times of worry and uncertainty, which is why I'm writing this post, but if you can start to see life for what it is, a gift, you'll start to view things a little differently.

"This too shall pass" ... it holds true in nearly every situation because no matter what difficulty remains in my past, I got through it and the outcome of all the burdens I faced was much more beneficial and prosperous than I had ever imagined. And guess what? ... The same goes for you.

That test you had to take, that boss you didn't want to work for, that money you didn't have, that health concern, that accident, that pain, that depression, that addiction, that obstacle, that relationship, that concern, that rumor, that betrayal, that injury, that fear, that struggle ... you got through it all. You did it. It played its role, it met its purpose and it made you who you are today. So just like all that, you'll get through this and anything else you may face in the future.

But it's easier said than done, am I right? ...

OF COURSE I'M RIGHT!! Because at the end of the day, we are all humans. We have emotions and feelings, and decisions to make and egos and pride and reputations to protect. God forbid we just chill and let God handle it, yeah? ...

So, for those people who act on their own freewill a little TOO much, this list is for you.

When you are down, when you are low, when you feel like you can't go on much longer, stop freaking out, stop trying to control everything, remember that God's got this is and do your best to get a grip so you can implement some of these tips that may help you remember that all will be ok ...

1. Spend time in solitude.
Being alone can be depressing, but if done correctly, can actually be really relieving. No matter how much you enjoy being around others, everyone needs some time alone to reflect. Silence your mind. Silence your surroundings. Spend time clearing your head. If you can't get away from people to be in complete solitude, then just step away and close your eyes for five minutes. Set a timer then close em. Picture an all white slate. Anytime a thought comes to you, no matter if it's positive or negative, imagine yourself erasing the thought with a giant eraser to wipe your thought-slate (I think I just made up that word) ... to wipe your thought-slate clean so that it's all white again. This is a technique I've used to help erase negative thinking. Erasing all thoughts, whether positive or negative, is helpful, too, because it prepares your mind for a fresh start and a new thought stream that you can deliberately create without any past thoughts creeping in.

2. Light candles or diffuse oils. 
This is helpful whether in solitude or with others and has dramatically improved my moral and feelings when stressed. Lavender and/or vanilla are good candles to light and if you're hip to essential oils, Young Living's Citrus and Stress Away™ are great oils to diffuse when worried or filled with anxiety. They help to relieve those nervous feelings and help with depression. So let the candle burn, let the oils diffuse and just relax. (Email whitchaffin@gmail.com if you're interested in finding out more about essential oils and their benefits.)

3. Make a cup of tea.
Never underestimate the power of hot water and some leaves. The most calming teas are anything with chamomile, but Matcha Queen Green Tea™ has both physical and mental health benefits. Make some of this, and you'll feel calm, empowered and relieved all at once, while also ingesting a ton of antioxidants which will help improve your overall health. You can order Matcha Queen Green Tea™ here.

4. Get some fresh air. 
Nature is a great stress reliever. The sounds of birds or crickets chirping, a fresh breeze or a quick gust of cold or warm air can be invigorating too because it brings you back to the now. Being centered and present is a critical part to happiness. Worrying about the future or living in the past are the quickest routes to depression and anxiety. Live in the present and if you can't, like I said, go get present. Step outside. Open a window. Take a walk along the beach or at a park. A cold chill or heat wave, and the natural sounds around you will help bring you into the present moment. 

5. Meditate.
Some people don't really understand meditation, and that's ok. But I promise, if you knew the power it had in your life, I bet you'd be more inclined to participate in it. If you're new to meditation, just google "stress relief guided meditations" or "positive thinking guided meditations" ... I literally listen to multiple meditations every day. It's how I control some of my anxiety and how I attract all positive things in my life. If you don't know who I am, google me. You'll learn that much of my success has been from being able to radiate positivity and that positivity is fueled by meditation.

6. Express gratitude. 
This is the most important technique I've ever discovered. I mean it. If you find something you're grateful for in any and every situation, no matter if it's good or bad, you will reap the benefits of receiving more things you are grateful for PLUS abundance in the areas you express gratitude. For example, let's say you were fired from a job. If you can find something you're grateful for in that--maybe you're grateful for the experience because it had prepared you for a better job, or grateful because you now have a fresh start or grateful because even though you're struggling to pay the bills, you have some time to reflect and spend with yourself or others--finding just ONE positive thing in the self-proclaimed negative experience and expressing gratitude for that one thing will show signs of faith and will in turn, attract to you more experiences to be grateful for. Plus, at the very least, it will help you feel better.

7. Read.
You can read whatever you want, but my recommendation is to read self-help stuff. Stay away from reading the news, novels, Facebook posts, etc. Only fill your mind with things that will elevate you and elevate your thinking. Our thoughts are THEE most powerful thing we own and like I've said before, it's totally free to think. So fill your brain with positive thoughts. You obtain these positive thoughts by, number one, reading about how to control your thoughts and by two, following number 

8. Get specific with what you want out of life and focus on that.
Once you've read and understood some of the self-help stuff you learned, now start practicing it. Put your powers into action by writing down everything you want to happen in your life. If you want more money, write it down. If you want more time, write it down. If you want better health, write it down. This puts your goals out there. It's like throwing a boomerang. Pretend all that you want is on that boomerang. So when you throw it out into the world, it will come back to you with everything you desire ... but be careful. The boomerang, much like the universe, doesn't know what "no" means. Make sure you clean up your thoughts before thinking about what you really want and throwing it out there. Good or bad, the boomerang will bring back to you whatever thoughts you give feeing to.

9. Pray.
Praying never goes out of style. I'll be posting a guide on how to actually pray, or at least, how I pray because the way I pray not only allows for miracles to happen in my life, but it also gives me a great amount of wisdom, relief and peace. There are misconceptions about praying and its effectiveness. My rule of thumb that Deacon Rusty Skinner at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church taught me was to pray for 3 minutes a day. Just 3 minutes. Dedicate 3 minutes a day to pray and talk to God or whatever higher power you believe in, and watch your world change for the better.

10. Laugh.
This is probably the most difficult thing to do when you're feeling down. That's why it's critical that you intentionally make an effort to do so. Google "babies eating a lemon for the first time" or "funny things kids say" or seek out anything that you find humorous, and dedicate some time for laughing. If you know someone who can make you laugh, give em a call. Go see them. Put yourself in a position to feel good because the minute you start feeling the good, that's when more goodness will come to you.


There are more techniques to help you get through those difficult times, and if you'd like some personalized, free advice on how to overcome your personal situation, download the Whitney Chaffin app on the App Store or iTunes, click on the "contact" tab, fill out an inquiry and I will be in touch with you to address your worries, fears or concerns.

Life is what we make it. So why not make it great? ... learn to control your fears by following some of these tips and I think you'll find that we really can have anything we desire. You just have to learn how to make it happen no matter what difficulties you may be facing. This too shall pass. So just chill.