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Dealing with adversity – 5 helpful tips
When life throws those curved balls, how do you react? Dealing with the tough times can be a challenge but there are ways to help you cope. Much has been written about post-traumatic stress but there is much opportunity for growth after adversity as well. Many people have been able to transform difficult experiences into opportunities for development in ways that have been completely unexpected.
1. Size it up
It helps to know your enemy. Tough times come in all shapes and sizes; sometimes suddenly, sometimes things build gradually. Denying that there is a problem rarely helps. Being bold and facing your demons head on is the first step on the way to dealing with your problems in a healthy way and allowing yourself to grow in the process.
If you can fix it, do! However, many challenges we face are not able to be ‘fixed’. Maybe it is as difficult as accepting that a beloved family member is coming to the end of their life or as (relatively) simple a problem as a cancelled holiday. Acceptance allows you to begin the next phase of your journey.
3. Keep exercising
If you are someone who exercised regularly, it is really important that you keep your routine going, no matter what. Exercise helps regulate your emotions by causing release of naturally occurring endorphins, as well as giving you some much-needed time for yourself. Especially if you are spending a lot of time caring for other’s needs, it is vital to fill your own cup first. A healthy body supports a healthy mind. If you are not someone who exercises regularly, then try to schedule in some time, even if it is just a walk for 10 minutes.
4. Healing foods
When times are tough it is easy to fall back on bad habits and resort to takeaway and junk food. It is these times though that you really need to be supporting yourself with the foods you eat. Many foods are helpful in times of stress. Some of the best include blueberries, almonds, peaches and dark chocolate. If you do choose takeout, then try to go with as healthy a choice that you can manage – wholegrains, salad and lean meat in preference to processed and high fat choices.
This is one of the best ways to help deal with adversity in a healthy way. Meditation is under-rated in our society but has tremendous benefits for something so simple to learn and to practice.
Meditation works on a number of levels – having effects both on our bodies and our minds. Meditation, like exercise, also causes the release of beneficial hormones (endorphins) that help us deal better with stress. Meditation also reduces the levels of cortisol in our bodies and is wonderful for helping you see the ‘big picture’. As your level of consciousness deepens during meditation you will able to see the connections between events that you couldn’t perceive with your conscious mind. Often unexpected solutions to problems will become evident. Meditation alters the pattern of your brain waves leading to a feeling of deep inner peace.
Adversity comes to us all, sooner or later. There are many adverse events in our lives that we are powerless to change, but we can certainly change the way that we react to them. Using the strategies talked about here can help you on the way to be a person who thrives because of adversity, not survives despite it. As you continue to deal with adversity with strength, you will grow in grace and resilience.