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Story Archives: When things go bad
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|When things go bad|
By Gerri Green, LCSW
Kitty was a wonderful friend and when she remarried James I worried about the difficulty ahead for them to blend their four almost grown children into a family. Silently and diligently she went about her task and life seemed to be good for this new blended family.
As often happens when friends marry and move to another town we talked seldom but thought about each other often. Five years ago I got a call from James asking me to come to the hospital to tell Kitty goodbye as she was dying from brain cancer. With a heavy heart I went several times, but Kitty was never conscious while I was there. The thing I remember most about my friend is her often repeated comment to me that the only time we grow spiritually stronger is when we have to handle tough times.
What is the difference between my friend, Kitty, who made the most of all the time she had on earth and those people we know who moan and grown about every little everyday obstacle that they face? The answer is a word called resilience. Resilience is the ability to take what life gives you and to make the best of it.
The American Psychological Association suggests there are ten ways to build resilience:
1. Make connections. Have good relationships with family and friends. Accept help from others when you need it. Assist others in their time of need.
2. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems. You can't change the fact that highly stressful things happen, but you can change how you look at them. Try looking beyond the present to how future circumstances may be better.
3. Accept that change is a way of living.
4. Move toward your goals. Do something, even if it is a small accomplishment that moves you toward your goals.
5. Take decisive action. Don't run away. Face the difficult situation instead of detaching from the problem and just wishing it would go away.
6. Look for opportunities of self-discovery. Many people who have experienced tragedies and hardship have reported better relationships, greater strength, increased self-worth, and more spirituality along with a heightened appreciation of life.
7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. Self confidence is your ability to solve problems and to trust your instincts. This helps build resilience.
8. Keep things in perspective. Even when facing very painful events try to avoid blowing the event out of proportion.
9. Maintain a hopeful outlook.
10. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Do things for yourself that help you find relaxation and enjoyment.
Do you ever feel like you have no resilience? Do you feel like life is just beating you up?
Help is available by calling the Franklin Medical Center at 435-4571or 435-6377. In Newellton call 467-2349.
This article is written by Gerri Green, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with the Winnsboro Rural Health Clinic. Please continue to look for articles about positive mental health in this newspaper.