On the contrary! Naturally, happy people face stressful encounters and real-life adversities like anyone else. The significant difference is that happy people develop healthy coping strategies. They have often developed these coping strategies without even realizing it.
In the mid-eighties, psychologists Tedeschi and Calhoun coined the term Posttraumatic growth. In brief, it describes the positive personal change that occurs as a person goes through a traumatic journey, often involving loss and suffering. According to Tedeschi and Calhoun, five areas of development occur after a challenging event:
- A renewed appreciation for life
- The recognizing of new paths for your life
- Enhanced personal strength
- Better relationships with others
- Spiritual growth. Happy people become experienced in seeing the interest that might come from challenging times.
The great news is that there is always time to develop what coping skills work best for you.
So here is the challenge: The first is to remember to log your list of things that make you happy on a day when you genuinely feel yourself. For example, volunteering, listening to your favorite inspirational song that gets you going, or reading a favorite motivational quote. The important thing is that whatever is on your list has zero direct involvement with anyone else. Calling your friend Bob should be off the list because Bob might be on vacation when you are having a tough time. Plus, it is not Bob’s job to make you feel better. The challenge’s second and most difficult part is to refer to the list of the yucky days.
Remember that you can help yourself more than you know. The great news is that nothing last forever. One day you will be standing on the other side of adversity, no longer caught in the midst of the storm. You will be stronger personally and physically and perhaps on a new and even more exciting path that, without that bump in the road, you might have never known existed.