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3 Tips on Dealing with Adversity in Life

dealing with adversity

Life is filled with many unexpected challenges and adversity that can trigger a myriad of emotions, including stress and helplessness. There are healthy ways to manage these emotions and create growth within.  Here are 3 tips that will help you deal with life’s unexpected adversity.

1. Ask yourself what can I learn from this situation?

While our days may have some degree of predictability, it’s not uncommon to encounter unfamiliar events. When faced with situations that feel uncomfortable, hurtful, unfair or even hateful, take time to ask yourself, “What can I learn from this.” There are lessons in each situation. Reflecting on what you learned will reinforce valuable life lessons and remove emotion from (what could be) an emotionally charged event.

2. Ask yourself what could I have done differently?

It’s not uncommon to ruminate over events that feel ugly, unwanted or unexpected. At the end of the day, however, do you have control over the situation? Often times the answer is no, and yet it’s difficult to jump off the rumination wheel. Discuss the event with someone you trust who will listen and help you identify where you had control and where you didn’t within a particular event. If you continue to have trouble jumping off the rumination train, grab three notecards and write three statements about yourself that identify your strengths. For example, I recognize I feel angry because I didn’t get a raise. I’m a reliable employee and therefore, if things don’t change in six months, I’ll start looking for another job.

3. Start planning your next steps.

Once you’ve identified what you learned from an unexpected situation, and gone a step further to assess your own degree of control in that same situation, start planning your next move. It’s okay if you need a few days to adjust to an unexpected event, but once you’ve had your pity party, start hustling. Use this opportunity to stretch beyond your comfort zone. Show your non-believers how influential, smart and talented you are. Once you’re outside of your comfort zone, you’ll surprise them and yourself.

The next time you find yourself struggling with feelings of stress and helplessness, use these 3 tips on dealing with adversity in life. Remember, opportunity is endless when we open our eyes, hearts and minds to it.

Looking for more ways to reduce stress and gain more control over your life?  Contact me now for a free consultation and see how therapy can change your life.

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Cope Better Therapy

Lori provides counseling to adults and couples in a comfortable environment in Rittenhouse Square. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MbSR), she helps individuals live fuller lives.


2047 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
(267) 326-1147


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