When you least expect it….


What can we expect?  What happens even with our best efforts? Why does it always appear?  What shows up is the unexpected.

Face it.  We don’t like it.  Don’t want it.  Didn’t ask for it or plan on it interrupting our lives.  But the unexpected shows up anyway and when it does we have no choice but to deal with it. Life is full of surprises and unexpected turns, and if this causes you anxiety and stress, and affects your mind, moods and behavior, you need to find a way to be less affected by them.

Those unexpected or surprise events happen with relative frequency.  Sometimes they last but a brief moment perhaps the length of a phone call, but other events force us to deal with the event over a period of time and can become quite annoying like a wart or bug bite you pick at or itch.  This week I had one of those long, drawn out unexpected life circumstances that I pray will be resolved soon. The circumstances involve a number of people and I have thought about how the events have unfolded and how each of us have handled the issues.  We all have had to make agreements and compromises and with any luck, we will have a resolution this week! I just hope the next unexpected interruption is a more pleasant one.

So how do you handle surprises and unexpected events?

Do you become stressed?
Do you panic?
Do you get flustered?
Do you become angry?



10 Tips for Dealing with Surprises and Unexpected Events:


  • Acknowledge the fact, and learn to accept that surprises and unexpected events are part of life and are unavoidable. When you accept this fact, to some extent, it will be easier to deal whatever happens in your life. Life is dynamic, not static. Change is part of life, and the sooner you acknowledge and accept this fact, the better it would be.
  • The key to everything is your attitude. Having a positive attitude is an asset in unexpected situations. Not all unexpected events are negative. Sometimes, what seems like a problem, or even a disaster, could be a blessing in disguise. A negative event can awaken ambition, motivation, and persistence, which would lead to progress and success.
  • When making a plan, always have an alternate plan, in case the first plans fail. This would prevent you from falling into a state of helplessness, fear, and not knowing what to do next. Plan B might just save you!
  • Wait for a few moments, before blurting out when confronting unexpected or unpleasant turns of fate. Before getting angry or panicking, look at what happened and assimilate the news. In many cases, this might something of minor importance that is easy to cope with. Maybe what happened is temporary, or something that can be easily fixed.
  • If what happened is irreversible, what good would you gain by becoming angry, stressed or panicked? You would gain nothing. Instead of getting flustered and confused, angry or feeling helpless, it would be much more useful to think constructively where you are going from there. You need to think how to adjust to the new situation and either fix it, improve it, or make the most of it.
  • Take the initiative, and introduce small changes into your life. Sometimes, in small and not important matters do things differently, without premeditating about them. This will help you cope more easily with surprises and events that are out of your control. In this way, you teach yourself to accept change. For example:

    – Take a different route to your work in the morning.

    – Eat a different breakfast.

    – Drink tea in the morning, instead of coffee.

    – Decide on the spur of the moment to go to a movie with your husband or friend.

    – Do things that you usually do, but in a different way.

  • Always focus on the present moment, living it the best, learning from it the most you can, and taking advantages of new opportunities that come your way. All there is, is the present moment, therefore, make the most of it, instead of thinking about what you lost, thinking about the past, or dwelling on how bad the situation is. This approach is useless and is a waste of time.
  • A certain degree of emotional detachment is important. It helps you take a step back from problems, surprises and expected events, and therefore, to be less affected by them. This helps you stay calm and in control of yourself, and therefore, be in a better position to deal with whatever is happening in your life.

    Attachment causes you to cling to the familiar, and makes you fear letting go. Too much attachment allows surprises and unpleasant events to have a greater negative effect on you.

  • Build a solid foundation of inner strength.  A state of inner strength brings stability, and a better control of your mind and actions, so that you can cope with any situation. This you can do by training and strengthening your willpower and self-discipline, two of the main pillars of inner strength.
  • Learn and practice meditation.  Even just 10 minutes of meditation every day can make a great change in your life, making you feel, calm, relaxed, and unperturbed by the events in your life. A certain amount of inner peace is most welcome in every situation, and meditation is one of the foremost ways leading to inner peace.

When you are calm, possessing inner peace, emotional detachment and inner strength, external events lose their power over you. You stop getting agitated and losing your composure, when surprises enter your life, and also when you face unexpected situations.  To get there requires some work and training. If you answered the questions with negative behaviors please consider learning to handle your unexpected events in a more positive and productive way.

I want to give credit to Remez Sasson for his insights.



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