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Four Strategies to Cope with Adversity

May 28, 2022

It may be the biggest, but not the first stressful event in my life, my impending open heart surgery.

With those prior events, I have had episodic/situational anxiety.

What works for me in terms of managing the fear/dread of overwhelming situations is remembering the transient nature of these circumstances.

One way or another, things change and those issues will be addressed.

With that and as I have stated in other posts, I too relax into the mess.

Others may present that as “aceptance”.

While acceptance is a reasonable concept, I realize not all things are actually acceptable.

Hence I prefer “relax into the mess.”

It certainly is akin to acceptance but I think more expresses a management strategy that enables patience and lessens the sense of being overwhelmed.

One of my other management strategies is to seek information and support.

I have long since realized I don’t know everything.

That is an important realization for us all. That realization opens us up to the input of others. I use professional advice.

Seeking such advice and using it is powerful.

Far too many people either fear the advice of others or believe their limited experience is greater than experts in the field.

Sure scrutinize, but listen. Take it in. Be open.

Lastly, own the issue and utilize support.

Nothing breeds being overwhelmed more than isolation.

Talking with others, letting them know of our troubles and needs, enables help.

We don’t need to do all things alone.

Indeed, I know of no one who truly has the capacity to manage all of life unaided. If the attitude of the individual goes that way, arrogance will further erode any relationship that may have been of value.

So, I am leaning heavy of the very strategies that I share with others:

  1. Realize that one way or another, things change.
  2. Relax into the mess.
  3. Seek and use professional advice.
  4. Be transparent and allow support.

With that while we do not avoid the issues of life, we certainly cope at a higher level.


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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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