Life is tough! There is no denying this. This is especially true for those that have experienced trauma and anxieties that supersede healthy living. No matter the level of a challenge, the emotional experience of suffering is the same. While it may be expressed differently, grief, loss, anger, failure, worry, challenges and other versions thereof inevitably happen to us all. There is no age discrepancy, no gender bias, no food-proof prevention plan for hardships.
But coping with, and ultimately even growing because of challenges is a key to dealing with the difficulties we face. We are each gifted to become stronger and better people because of our experiences. Besides, none of us were created to be anything less than amazing and tough!
Here are 5 keys to I have learned to deal with life difficulties. Of course, they don’t stop the challenges but they leave us stronger through them and ultimately, as a result of them.
1. Accept Life is Tough
The first step in the healing process is to acknowledge the injury, the struggle, the challenge. There is no reason to ignore the truth of challenges people have faced nor is it healthy to deny the concept of life being tough. It is acknowledging this concept and seeing it as nothing more than a challenge that allows a person from hard places to start the process of resiliency. Reaching a point of acceptance is first, but essential step!
2. Believe Tough is Tolerable
There is the acknowledgment that live is tough but the believing that you can tolerate it is your next level towards healing. It allows you to shift to a powerful frame of mind. Applaud yourself in making it through challenges and reference the tools acquired in those successes to find strengths you may never have realized you carry.
3. Find Your People
We all are in need of relationships with other people. The key is to understand who are your people, those who support you in being the best version of yourself. This is a discovery that equips you with tools to have sufficient support as you make it through tough times. They are our sounding boards and reflective tools. They bring insight to the table that we cannot face hardships without. Seek those healthy people actively and hold them tightly.
4. Seek Knowledge
Ignorance is not an opt out of challenge and assumptions suck us down the path of anxiety. Thus knowledge, a general understanding of bigger concepts, it is an essential step in challenging times. It allows us to give grace and broaden our perspectives for a safer functioning of our own. Knowledge is gaining insight enough to discover what you do what to be different and even, more, how to make it that way! Knowledge is a power through challenges.
5. Learn From Your Past
We all have a past with waves of ups and downs. The ability to learn from it, draw strength from it, and use it to our advantage is essential. Ultimately, we cannot change it, yet we can learn from it. We gain wisdom and knowledge from our past that gives insight and personal power in the current challenges. Using our past as a tool, maybe even a catapult for your future, can be key in making it through challenging times. Though it may not be a comfortable place to visit, with the right intent, referencing past experiences during challenges can lead to clearer plans of action forward.
Amber Jewell is a licensed master social worker with over 15 years of experience working with youth and families in child protective services, education and mental health services. As an educator and an advocate for promoting change for and value within people, Amber works to inspire and motivate others to grasp their own form of hope. She is also a motivational speaker and has experience in the foster system. She is the author of Finding Hope: The 12 Keys To Healing Hardship, Hurt & Sorrow.