5 Ways to Bounce Back from Adversity

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Summary: The following activities may be helpful for maintaining happiness and staying relaxed.

Key Take Aways:

  • Social connectedness is a key part of happiness.
  • Giving oneself credit is a good way to balance negative feelings that may come during a challenging situation.
  • Practicing acceptance can be uncomfortable, but also freeing and calming.

1. Stay Connected

During stressful times, there may be a temptation to retreat from normal social activities due to embarrassment and shame, or in order to save money, but happiness is tied directly to social interaction. (In his book, Delivering Happiness, author Tony Hsieh identified connectedness as one of the four key components of happiness.)

The effort to stay connected socially could be continuing to go to church, or even spending more time there. It could be joining a support group for job seekers in order to share information and job leads. Depending on what is available and your personality there are many choices, but the key seems to be simply this: stayed connected with friends, family and other communities so you don't self-isolate and spend your free time worrying and over-analyzing your situation.

2. Take Advantage of Free Time

Using your free time constructively is also important, because you will feel better about yourself and your current situation. In other words, being pro-active instead of just sending out resumes via email is likely to feel better. Volunteering part-time to get out of the house and interact with people might be beneficial. It also can be put on a resume if you haven't worked for a while.

If you are gifted with a lot of free time due to loss of work, it certainly
could be tempting to see oneself as a victim, but there may be opportunities
to think differently and make enhancements in ones' life instead of focusing on the painful aspects of not working.

3. Maintain Physical and Mental Fitness

One constructive use of time is to continue with normal physical activity
to maintain one's fitness. If you don't have a regular fitness routine, then
now might be a good time to start, even if it is just walking. Physical
exercise is also a stress reducer and good for the mind as well as the body.

4. Give Yourself Credit

Give yourself credit for surviving this long and reflect upon the successes
in your life, instead of blaming yourself or others for the situation. By giving
yourself the recognition you deserve for making it this far, you can acknowledge what you have done well and are likely to continue doing well.

5. Practice Acceptance

Allow yourself to practice acceptance, rather than only desiring pleasure. Pleasure seeking can be a successful way of experiencing good sensations and happiness at times. However, pleasure tends to be short-lived and leaves us wanting more, though the results are sometimes less and less pleasurable over time.

When we practice accepting the way things are currently, we can enrich our lives and let go of wanting something different that we sometimes don't get, so we feel disappointed or unhappy. Though practicing acceptance may seem uncomfortable or even upsetting at first, it can also bring a sense of relief and appreciation of the aspects of change, rather than feeling victimized. 

Born as a book, Delivering Happiness is now a culture coachsultancy and a movement on a mission to inspire passion + purpose in workplaces around the world.

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Jake Richardson

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