We are living in a time with constant doubt, fear, uncertainty, threats of war, and economic struggle. How do we find strength in hard times if all odds are against us?
When faced with all these adversities, can you really come out stronger?
Despite the lingering feelings of hopelessness that you may experience while attempting to pull yourself together, the answer is actually
And this is backed by science. A study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology discovered that those who reported two to six stressful events scored higher on measurements of resilience and overall well being than those that have not experienced adversity in recent years. “In short, the findings suggest that mental toughness is something like the physical strength: it cannot develop without exercise”.
This study goes to show that although you may not be able to see it at the time, stressful events such as a divorce, death of a loved one or job loss have an upside and will bring resilience to your future.
Over the past two years as a nurse, I have seen a lot of families suffer. Empathy is the way to really share those feelings. By going through hard times with families, I’ve learned how the best mindset helps people to find strength in hard times.
Nobody gets through life without losing someone they love, someone they need, or something they wished for. Remember, these are the losses that make us stronger and eventually move us toward happiness and future growth as an individual.
The lessons I have learned along the way to find strength in hard times are as follows:
Losing a loved one will make you realize that you need to fall in love with people in a human, giving, and receiving way. Being surrounded by hardships will help you to cherish the people in your life for who they are. Give these people your whole, authentic self without the fear of not being good enough. We focus a lot on “loving ourselves,” but that energy is not meant to be kept or restrained on condition. Make love the focal point in your life and your losses.
During childhood the harsh reality of life is often sugar-coated; growing up really is a hard pill to swallow. Part of living and growing up is experiencing unexpected troubles in life. We hear things about people losing their job, getting sick, or someone being critically ill in the hospital. These are situations that tamper with our emotions and can leave us feeling outraged, lost or helpless. Try to remember that this is an opportunity that will allow us to grow stronger.
Use Mindfulness to help you become more aware of your emotions. Hard to cope? Take a walk. Remove yourself from the environment; get some air, it helps in taking a timeout.
Life is fragile, sudden, and shorter than it really seems. Someone right now is planning for tomorrow without realizing they’re going to die today. Spend your time wisely and take a pause that is long enough to appreciate life. Life is meant to be lived, deeply felt, and enjoyed.
We have little control over most of the external circumstances, but what we do have control over is the way we react.
Our past may have been rocky; no matter the situation, the past does not define us. You’re not your past habits nor the story you used to tell yourself. The future is a clean slate to become who you wish to be. You’re allowed to change your own internal narrative.
It is the bitter truth that we must accept losing something or someone that we love. Tough times make you feel as if your whole world has come to a halt and leave you wishing that the world would stop as well. Life never stops moving and evolving. Time does heal, and shortly, you’ll find yourself moving again, but you’ll need to do it in your own way. Life is a blessing; don’t forget to keep enjoying it.
Feelings change, people change, and time - our greatest limited resource - just keeps ticking. You choose how you feel this very moment! You can hold onto past mistakes, or you can create your own happiness. Never wait for something or someone to come along to make you happy. True happiness comes from within you.
Losing someone or something has taught me to adjust my perspective and take in how big the world really is. There are more than 7 billion people on this earth. Whatever you're feeling, going through, or grieving, just remember that there’s someone else in the world going through the same hardship.
We get wrapped up in our thoughts during difficult times, but it’s critical to realize that you're not alone. You are never alone in your thoughts and feelings. Sharing these thoughts with patient’s families comforts them in heartbreaking times when they feel alone and hopeless.
In hard times, what's your perspective? What kind of dialogue do you have with yourself? Ask yourself: “What is this situation meant to teach me?” You can apply this to any event. Some lessons can include: to become stronger, learn to let go of the past, communicate more clearly, trust your gut feeling, to forgive.
Hidden in the fog of conflict in the world, life is full of love and happiness. It lies within us. Hard times happen to everyone, and someone is going through something right now. You have the power to better deal with hardship! Take something out of these lessons and be better prepared for the little bumps in the road.
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Carey, B. (2011, January 3). On Road to Recovery, Past Adversity Provides a Map. Retrieved from https://socialecology.uci.edu/news/road-recovery-past-adversity-provides-map