For overcoming adversity, we must equip ourselves with tools for emotional survival, positive mental health and personal well-being.
Adversity in life is difficult and can also be very painful. Adversity can throw our lives and relationships into disarray or chaos, and as a result, it can throw off our emotional balance. In order to overcome adversity and return to a happier state of being, there are several ways we can manage and cope.
How to Overcome Adversity
1. Take Good Care of Yourself
Our emotional and physical health can be at stake when we go through painful and/or difficult times. Large amounts of stress can cause physical and emotional problems. It is therefore of utmost importance to first and foremost take good care of ourselves. Taking care of oneself involves looking after one’s emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. Exercising self-care is critical and necessary when facing adverse life conditions.
So how do we accomplish this?
Self-care can involve: exercising; eating three meals a day and drinking plenty of water; reaching out to friends and family for support; spending quality time with family and friends; attending individual therapy and/or support groups; taking time out to treat yourself to something nice, relaxing or fun; attending church services or pursuing another form of spiritual practice. These are all ways to exercise self-care. When we take good care of ourselves, it improves our overall emotional welfare when going through a difficult time. It also improves our mood and happiness level.
Do surround yourself with people who will be supportive of you and who are positive-minded. A part of exercising self-care involves being around those who are supportive of us. So build up your support network, it will be important during this time.
2. Know that Difficult Times Pass
Secondly, know that difficult times do pass and are temporary. Things can change and can improve in time. Sometimes, difficulties can be prolonged and can take longer to overcome – for example, when facing the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, income or home. These are examples of personal life crises that can also throw off emotional balance.
However, again, it is very important to maintain self-care to feel better, and to know that the difficulty and pain will pass in time. Be patient… it will pass and it will improve.
3. Be Positive
It is also important to maintain a positive outlook when overcoming adversity and to understand the power of positive thinking.
Positive thoughts keep our hopes and spirit alive. Without hope, we can drown in negative thinking. We can even become severely depressed. We must hold onto hope for better days ahead.
We need to remember that life constantly changes and that circumstances come and go. By knowing that the situation is temporary, that life can change for the better, and by holding onto hope, one can maintain a positive outlook.
By maintaining a positive outlook, one can also feel happier than not when going through difficulties. When we are hopeful and positive about better things to come, we feel happier and more positive about the future.
4. Be Proactive
Another tactic for overcoming adversity is to become proactive. Aside from taking good care of yourself, you can be proactive through problem solving and by taking action steps to correct or improve the situation. We do not need to sit back passively when going through a difficult time.
For example, if you suddenly lost your job and income, what do you do? You become proactive. You can take action steps and sign up with recruiters, post your resume on various job boards, ask for recommendations from colleagues and apply for unemployment benefits, if applicable.
That is just one example, but by being proactive, it will empower you to feel more hopeful about the situation and happier about yourself.
5. Know That Time Heals all Wounds
Sometimes time is simply needed for overcoming adversity and for emotional healing and repair – for example, in the case of the loss of a loved one or the ending of an important relationship.
As they say, “time heals all wounds”, which is very true and important to remember. With these examples, again, exercising self-care techniques is critical for your well-being through a most difficult or painful experience. Do know that happier times are ahead!
6. Accept and Let Go
Often times we can think life is unfair when we are handed less than desirable life circumstances. We can become angry, sour and bitter over seemingly unfair or unjust circumstances. We can blame God or think that God is out to get us.
The fact of the matter is that life happens – the good, the bad and the ugly, and we must face, deal with and overcome all adversity that comes our way. No one person is singled out. Everyone faces their own life challenges, and some people, more than others.
That can seem unfair, but it is what it is. We must accept the challenges that come our way and let go of our negative emotions around them. Otherwise, we can drown in negativity which then prevents us from moving forward.
It is my belief that sometimes we are handed certain challenges in order to grow, learn and become better people. So the only way to truly overcome adversity is to accept the situation at hand, let go of any negative emotions around it and then face it head on with a positive mindset. And once you get through it, you will feel amazingly powerful and triumphant!
So there are some concrete ways for overcoming adversity. Taking good care of yourself, maintaining a positive outlook, being proactive, knowing that the situation will pass and accepting life circumstances are all tactics for how to overcome adversity that you can implement to help yourself.
Here’s to your well-being and mental health!