Difficult times come in many different forms, some are experienced on a personal level while other
difficulties are related to the suffering of those around you. What is difficult to someone may not be difficult for another, so for the sake of this post, I am leaving the subjectivity of the word: “difficulty” up to you.
When something difficult occurs in life, the automatic response to it is denial and blame – “Why did this happen to me? The world must be cursed”. This is a natural way to response to hardships, however life is not pleasant – so after being blown off your course by several difficulties in a row, it is likely that you will lose all your purpose for living itself.
I think that this is partially one of the main causes of depression (along with the more biological ones). Knowing what to do in the face of constant adversity is a skill that is extremely valuable. It will carry you far into success.
So, if you are asking now, what do I do? Don’t fear my friend, I’ve got you. Here are some nuggets of
wisdom learned experience from my life, and advice from my ingenious fiance Ben.)
7 ways to have strength in the face of adversity
1. Detach yourself from the environment that causes you pain
When difficulties come in a specific environment, in which you spend most of your time in – it is quite likely that you will start associating the environment itself with the difficulties.
Even if those difficulties occurred a long time ago. It does not mean that you must run away from the environment, detaching yourself mentally is enough.
Understanding that you can move forward in life is an important step to overcoming the most difficult of difficulties.
2. Stop comparing yourself with other people
Social media is a bottomless pit filled with lies and manufactured perfection. It breeds jealously, self-hatred and the need to be perfect in every way.
When you compare yourself with others (especially on social media) you may begin thinking that a good life is a smooth life.
Therefore, when any difficulty arises – it will be the end of the world! Then again, when you are aware that life sucks for everyone, as bad as it sounds, you will feel like you are not alone.
3. Use life difficulties to build resistance and strength
Your body is smart. When you get a virus, eventually antibodies are released to fight the infection. When a similar virus tries to bother the body again, the same antibodies are released more rapidly, this is called secondary antibody response or in plain terms – your body building up a resistance.
Anyways, what I mean is that experiencing some level of difficulties is good because then you can build resistance and strength.
This is why, being sheltered in a little cocoon of safety has some of the most devastating consequences.
4. Learn to accept personal responsibility
Not all your life difficulties will have something to do with you, but some of them will. When they are, you need to learn to accept personal responsibility and not isolate yourself in a sense of contempt and denial.
Being the victim to life’s unfortunate circumstances, is far easier than accepting that sometimes – you make mistakes too (we all do).
5. Understand that there is no sense in suffering
When life is tough, you may try to find the meaning of the suffering (mental or physical). Unfortunately, some of the most awful of life difficulties have no meaning.
Sometimes there is no explanation why something happened to you or those you are close to. Difficulties can strike unexpectedly and take you away from control.
It’s easy to fall victim to this sense of purposelessness when this happens. Instead of obsessing over the meaning of suffering, understand that there is no sense in it and then carry on with determination.
6. Become aware of your personal agency
The key thing in not giving up in a life filled with difficulties is knowing that you have personal agency. You are not being controlled by your life, life is controlled by you.
The choices that you make, the opportunities that you take, the people that you choose to speak to. You need to become an active agent of your life, especially when difficulties strike. Don’t be a marionette, cut your strings and act with agency.
7. Appreciate the little things in life
There is goodness in life, however often this goodness is hard to notice if you are not paying attention to it. Try not to be consumed by the negatives.
I know it’s difficult because difficult experiences could lead to a negatively biased perception. Try to feel grateful for the little things in life - that coffee cup in the morning, the sunshine on your window, the cosy blanket on your skin… pessimism and hating life will lead to nowhere.
That’s it, these are some of my advice to help you survive difficult moments in life and feel happier. Everyone is different in their circumstances and personalities, but I’m sure that these nuggets of advice will benefit all. Keep your head up because you are in control of your life.
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