Adversity can be difficult for every one of us, sometimes it can happen all of a sudden. It can last a week, a month, or even several years.
All of us go through adversity at some point in life in various ways and forms. It’s important to remember that it’s not the end of all good things in life. It’s normally just a phase that we all go through, and then eventually coming out of that adversity through sheer hard work and sacrifice.
Firstly, What is adversity?
I definitely have my own meaning and experience of what adversity really is, however let’s go by what the dictionary says.
a difficult or unlucky situation or event:Cambridge Dictionary | Meaning of adversity in English
This definitely puts into perspective onto exactly what this is, i’ve definitely experienced adversity in this sense. Particularly when a situation or circumstance doesn’t go a certain way or as planned. It’s also important to mention the luck factor, because sometimes we can try as hard as we want to and still fail.
Since we’ve come to an understanding of what adversity really is, let’s get into how it might affect us.
Here’s a little video where I explore this in a bit more detail. I also cover more about what’s really helped me in dealing with adversity, i hope it helps.
How does adversity affect us?
There are a plethora of ways that adversity can affect us, it can be a little challenging to pinpoint since we’re all so different from each other.
When external circumstances shift, it can have an emotional impact on us. This can put us in a space where we can dwell on what has happened. I certainly did, especially when i failed job interviews i had prepared for.
Depending on how severe the adversity we can face, the longer it might take to recover. In some cases, it might even be traumatic to an extent, which can involve the help of psychologists.
One thing tot remember would be, when adversity affects us, its only external, its really our thoughts, emotions and responses that shapes our attitude toward adversity when faced with it.
In some cases, childhood adversity might also affect us as adults, particularly when I carried out some research that suggested that
many adult diseases should be viewed as developmental disorders that begin early in life and that persistent health disparities associated with poverty, discrimination, or maltreatment could be reduced by the alleviation of toxic stress in childhood.The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress | Jack, P Shonkoff, Andrew S. Garner
This seems quite daunting, as once we were in the clutches of adversity, it can affect us later in life in many ways. However, I’m sure there is hope.
Particularly in the piece of research I found below that sheds some light on this
adolescents worldwide experience a variety of adversities that have the potential to disrupt typical development. However, some of these individuals exhibit resilience, evidencing normal development in the face of adversity.Amity L. Noltemeyer, Kevin R. Bush | Adversity and resilience: A synthesis of international research
This provides a lot of reassurance over the fact that each one of us has the capability to develop strength and resilience.
Common Types of adversities people face.
There are many shapes that adversity can take, and in various severities.
We can condense this into a short list.
These are just some of the things that came to mind when thinking about the different kinds of adversity that people can commonly face today.
To break this down further, we can categorize them in groups. This give a clearer overview of the types of adversities faced. I managed to find a great resource from Veto Violence on preventing childhood adversity
|Abusive||Neglect||House challenges||Other types of adversity|
|Actions intended to to cause discomfort or harm.||Not providing adequate attention||Negetive situation that occuse within the household between individuals||Other forms of adveristy, natural or geographical or affecting groups of peope|
|Physical||Physical||Mental illness might include scuisicde.||Community violence|
|Emotional||Medical||Divorce or seperation||Natural disasters|
|Supervisory||Incarceration||Refugee / wartime|
|Environmental||Intimate parent||Witness or expereinceing terrorism.|
However, the question that remains here is that, what proportions of these adversities are most commonly face. Luckily, I found a great resource, the frequencies and disparities in childhood adversities in the US found on BMC that explains that fairly well.
To put that information into perspective for you, I created a pie chart that showcases the common type of adversities.
10 Best Effective Actions To Take When Adversity Knocks On Your Door.
#1: Breathe and keep centred
When adversity hits, it easy to loose balance but finding equilibrium amongst chaos is really where the strength is. The reason as to why i said breath is because sometimes its the most easiest thing that we can do in the moment. It really helps find that center amongst emotional ups and down.
#2: Analyse the situation carefully
You’ve just hit rock bottom, I know it is difficult. But take some time to analyse the situation, what’s really going on? Whether you just get evicted, a breakup, a death of a loved one, loss of a job, whatever it may be, take some time to really analyse the situation. When you start breaking the details of the situation, you might go into problem solving mode to try and find solutions.
When we do this, well often realise that, it actually might not be that bad, or there might be a solution round the corner. Often time we might make situations seem worse that they really are. However, it’s important to know that when we loose a loved one it can be difficult since it can’t be reversed. Its unavoidable and the most we can do is be grateful for the time we spent with them.
#3: Positive and reassuring self talk.
Yes, everything might be gone in a flash, and its super easy to get into negative self talk. However, its super important to keep a positive and reassuring mind during these times. I know in my own experience that it was very difficult to think logically when my i delved into negativity and uncertainty about my situation.
As bad as it might be, it’s worth telling yourself that.
#4: Gather your resources.
Believe it or not, you’ve got an array of tools at your disposal, and you should take some to gather them. It’s useful to first make a note of all that you have, which might help you come out of a difficult situation, this can involve a relative, funds, documents or generally anything. Gathering an army of resources should be a priority whenever a difficult situation arises.
It’s also important to keep an open mind since anything can be a resource, even the things that you least expected. Perhaps items you can sell, or people you can speak to, programs that help with adverse situations and much more.
#5: Talk to someone.
This is one of the things that i didn’t really take advantage of when i was going through difficulties. In my case, i was actually afraid of judgement from other people, this limited me in how i expressed myself and talked about my situation. So it’s not just merely talking to someone, but talking to someone we really trust.
It’s also important to mention that, we can often find people that we can relate to, particularly because they have been someone the things that we’re going through. Sharing stories can be really valuable, especially if both individuals have the goal of really helping each other.
#6: Call a helpline.
Sometimes, the best thing we can do is to call a helpline, there are plenty of helplines that exist. In fact, the NHS has a comprehensive list of helplines that you can call for a variety of situations. This also contains a resource page with valuable and trustworthy link that you can freely access.
Helplines can really help people talk to someone who can simply just listen, whereas some are geared towards providing you with much-needed resources.
#7: Mindfulness exercises.
Mindfulness is quite common, it’s fairly difficult not to have heard of it somewhere.
Much like the breathing and brining our minds into stillness and prescnence, mindfulness fall into the same category.
To truly understand mindfulness, let’s refer to the Cambridge dictionary
The practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calmCambridge dictionary | Mindfulness definition.
A strict mindfulness practice has really helped me minting balanced emotions even through difficulties and allowed me to really reflect on the situation.
It’s important for me to mention that mindfulness can take some priorities when you’re safe. Once the main situation is sorted out, and you’re in a safe place, you can undergo a short mindfulness session to help balance out your mind and emotions.
#8: Let out your emotions.
Sometimes, it’s ok to just cry or get angry in the face of a difficult situation or an adversity.
This is because it’s safe to say that adversity emotionally impacts us quite a bit. Letting out our emotions can clear out the skies in our minds. This definitely happened to me. After I let out my emotions, I was able to think clearly about solutions and where to go after that situation.
It can be difficult to fathom that adversity has just happened to us, almost like we don’t know how to react. After letting our emotions, we calm down and are better able to deal with the reality of the situation. We might even see that it is not all that bad.
#9: There almost always a solution.
I can say for sure that, as bad as your situation might be always a solution to your problem or adverse situation. However, it take a positive mindset to really invite a solution based approach to life in general.
Hope to understand that there is light at the end of the tunnel it hugely understand, it gives us that motivation and fire to really do what we can to better the situation.
I come to the position where i see adversities as challenges that need solving, all it takes is abit of resourceful thinking.
You might hear stories of the most successful people in the planet, even though they faced adversities, they were able to have hope and come out of it. If they can, there is nothing stopping you.
#10: A blessing in disguise?
Last but on least on this list, is that advertisite might actually be a blessing in disguise. sometimes, things can be taken away from us which can really hurt. However, often times we end up in a much better place afterwards. Loosing a job in the present might force you to find a job that truly fulfill you. Loosing a relationship in the present, might lead to finding someone that you and truly resonate with on a deeper level.
So if you’re in an adverse situation, it might actually be a blessing in disguise so have faith.
Have in the fact that you can rebuild even bigger than before, have faith in your individual capacity to overcome life’s challenges.
Over to you
So, this article a brief guide to help you better deal with adversity. Since I’ve been through some level of adversity myself, so hopefully I can provide you with some insight.
In this article, we’ve covered.
- What adversity is.
- The different types of adversity faced.
- Adversities that are common, particularly during childhood.
- My top 10 tips on action step ideas to take when adversity hits.
Simple tips like practising mindfulness, centredness, having a heart-to-heart conversation can really help us. Particularly in seeing the brighter side of life.
With that, thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you in my next article.