At one point or another, we will all experience adversity in our life. From personal grief to major, life-shaking events, there are a number of ways the human spirit can be tested. Overcoming adversity can ultimately strengthen your physical and mental health and help you to gain an even greater sense of commitment to your goals and plans going forward. While your situation may seem impossible at the time, there are a number of examples throughout history that demonstrate the power of personal ingenuity and collaboration that show that with hard work and belief, even the most terrible circumstances can be overcome.
Responding to difficult circumstances can put a major toll on your physical health. It’s not uncommon to alter your sleeping patterns and either sleep too much or too little as a way of coping with the stresses in your life. Unfortunately, this can lead to depression, anxiety, and fluctuations in weight that will make it harder for you to stay resilient and formulate a plan of action to overcome the adversity in your life. One step toward growing strong and facing your challenges is to take steps to improve your physical health. Aim to sleep at least 7-8 hours every night and try to go to bed and rise at the same time each day. You should also get a little physical activity in every day. It’s ok to start small; take a few walks around the block or start lifting soup cans in the kitchen to slowly build up muscle tone. Gradually work up to 30-60 minutes of physical exertion a few times a week, and use that time to give yourself a break from your troubles and gain both perspective and physical health.
The journey toward overcoming adversity can be challenging, but the path is worth it. Working to improve your circumstances will improve your overall mental health and resilience. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when the problems in your life start to accumulate, but remember that you are in control. Take small steps toward positive action. Make a to-do list, mediate for 5 minutes each morning, think about the people and influences in your life that you are thankful for. Cultivating an attitude of positive mental health can help you better address your problems and effectively overcome the challenges that you face.
Throughout history, many individuals have demonstrated their courage in the face of adversity. Booker T. Washington famously wrote about his struggles to educate and free himself from physical and mental slavery. In addition, we can look to the Chickasaw People for their collective effort to overcome the incredible challenges of being uprooted from their sacred land and forcibly moved across the country. The Chickasaw have emerged as a close-knit, culturally rich group of people because they preserved their story of suffering and vowed to stay strong in the face of adversity. They value the story of their triumph in the face of such challenge, and that history makes them stronger to this day.
Staying focused on the positive and looking back at what you’ve learned as you go through your journey to overcome adversity will ultimately make you a stronger, healthier person. It is truly a journey worth pursuing, no matter how long the path.
About the Author
Danielle M. is a marketing student interested in consumer behavior and internet marketing. In her spare time she blogs about music and volunteers with her local humane society.