Navigating the Waves of Life's Adversity with 4 Actions

Posted at 3:21 pm on 08/02/2016 by Dave Greene RN (Doc)

Good Afternoon,

Many years ago I was the guy holding up my hand in that boat zooming across the water.  I was part of a Marine boat company as their chosen "squid", "doc", and Navy Corpsman.  As a boat company, we used that luxury liner you see as our mode of transportation from the "haze grey and underway" (ship) to the sandy beach shore.  During these training ops things didn't always go as planned because we encountered bad weather, were plagued by engine issues, or had injuries occur along the way.  The only thing you could control was how you chose to ride out the mission's adversity.  It was crucial to hang on tight or get abrupt splash into the ocean, keep your head up to avoid the boat smacking you in the face with the next large swell, and stay focused when you hit the shore to complete the training required.  Just like those wet tired Marines knew that there were expected and unexpected challenges that may occur, we too have to have that awareness so we can successfully navigate the storms in our lives.

When facing adversity in our lives there are 4 actions we can take to help us make it safely back to that "big grey ship" (better time in our life): 

Absorb the shock - (Manage Your Emotions)  That swell of adversity may be unexpected or you may have seen it coming, but you need to deal with the emotions caused by the experience.  To stay strong and make it through the storm you need to use healthy coping mechanisms like talking to family and friends, writing down your feelings, and staying active.  As you work through the feelings the weight you're bearing will lighten, and you'll have more energy to move forward. 

Keep your head up
-  (Create a Positive Outlook)  You have a much better perspective when you prevent emotions from controlling the situation, so take 30 minutes at the beginning of your day to focus on the good things in your life.  Stand in the mirror and say 5 things you're grateful for to help change your focus.  These sayings are called positive affirmations, and are a powerful tool to change negative thought, improve moods, and gain a new perspective.  Affirmations are present tense positive statements about things you want to achieve.  By saying in the present tense we convince our subconscious of that belief as well.  (ex. - I'm positive and feel excited about today)            

Look at the Shore - Sadly there may some adversity that comes into our lives that makes permanent changes, but even in those situations we can take control by creating a plan to change our circumstances.  Sit down and write out a list of ways you can positively deal with the new challenge.  With a plan, you create direction, hope, and reinforce your positive outlook necessary to take action.


Hold out Your Hand - (Build Empathy for Others)   Life's struggles should not only be opportunities to grow and personally develop our character, but also increase the empathy we feel for others who may be experiencing a similar situation.  By looking to understand and help others, your boat may reach the shore sooner than expected with the energy to jump out and carry on your life's mission.

"Fair Winds, and Following Seas"

Take care, Dave


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