Part Two of a series of mini-articles under the umbrella of ‘Life Lessons’ in October’s Psychology Today focuses on what is called ‘Facing Adversity’.
Once again, the comments of the contributing authors collectively can provide valuable insights for our own lives:
- Accept that life is unpredictable; sometimes challenges such as life health issues pop up, and have to be coped with, possibly under life changing circumstances; there is a ‘liberating’ aspect, in that accepting such a reality changes one’s focus from how life has been to this point, to moving forward in life; instead of using mental energy to fight change, cultivate self-compassion, along with seeing new opportunities for life experiences
- Practice going with the flow; sometimes events occur which at the time seem negative or even with terrible implications; by not having a ‘knee-jerk reaction’, one is open to subsequent happenings with equanimity, perhaps able to benefit from an alternate outcome; consider this story: a farmer’s son tries to ride a wild horse which wandered onto the property the day before, and the son suffers several injuries; neighbours express their regrets, the farmer shrugs it off; the next day, the army comes through to conscript any able-bodied young men – which the son avoids due to his accident; once again the farmer shrugs it off
- Don’t worry about it; while there may be a natural compulsion to fret about situations, consider this: interviews of older people in a recent, long-term study found that one of the most important things younger people can do to limit regrets later in life is to minimize worrying; many in the interviews reflected that “I wish I’d spent less time worrying”; there’s little value in repeating “pointless rumination about things we can’t change”
- See the funny side of life; having and using a sense of humour leads to a sense of recovery and renewal; bad moments can become funny situations; it’s a form of ‘emotional recycling’, wherein one’s perspective of an event shifts to feeling it is more under one’s control; humour is a key to unlocking limitations