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Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Navigating Life's Journey Blog

Helping others navigate this journey of Life!

A weekly blog from the Family & Consumer Sciences Department

Appreciating Adversity: How a Tragic Past Can Lead to a Positive Present

by Ashley Henderson - November 29, 2017

Sometimes people have a hard time seeing what good can come from a traumatic event. While it is true that people currently experiencing a traumatic event can struggle to appreciate the goodness of their circumstances, research has shown that experiencing tragedies can actually lead to a deeper appreciation of the present. With time, perspective, and sometimes professional help, the challenges of life can be turned into blessings.

The following exercises provide a way to use past adversities to move toward positive emotions and savor the present.

  1. Pause, take a moment to breathe, and be mindful of your surroundings in the current moment.
  1. Think of a specific negative event. Relive that moment in your mind, where you were, the people you were with, the emotions you felt then and may still have about the event.
  1. Remember how you’ve coped. Think of the things you learned because of this event.
  2. Consider how you’ve grown. How do you feel about yourself now? How have you grown and become a better person because of this difficult experience?
  1. Focus on the positives in your present. It could be something as simple as a smile, sunlight, your favorite food, friends, or good a conversation you’ve had recently.
  1. Appreciate the moment. Take at least 30 seconds to appreciate where you are now, and allow the joy, warmth, and peace to flow through your body. Savor the emotions and create a memory of this feeling.
  1. Continue looking for the good. Throughout the rest of the day, find more pleasant experiences to savor. Repetition will make looking for the good in life a habit, which can build a reservoir of positivity to draw from when challenges arise.

To find out more about managing stress and appreciating the good check out:


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