Life

The Unexpected Benefits of Adversity: 8 Things That Can Make You Stronger Than You Realize

Today is the last day of 2023. Have you experienced anything this year that made you feel depressed and frustrated? Don’t be too sad, some things seem to only cause us pain and have no value, but from another perspective, they will still have a positive impact on our personal growth and life.

We would like to introduce you to 8 things that may seem harmful but are actually good for us . They are not uncommon in our lives. I hope that after you understand their value, if you encounter them again, you can welcome their arrival more calmly and easily, and let them flow through you instead of consuming you.

1.Cognitive collapse

When we encounter injuries from loved ones, ruptures in love, betrayal in friendships, etc., we will feel that the beliefs established in our minds based on past life experiences have been overturned. And this kind of cognitive collapse will make us feel an unprecedented sense of emptiness, helplessness, and confusion about the future, and it may even be difficult to get up.

However, psychological research has found that although this will be a painful memory, the subversion and subsequent reconstruction caused by cognitive collapse will bring unexpected gains to people.

Rebuilding our cognitive beliefs will allow us to build higher psychological prosperity (Thriving), and our mental, physical and social abilities will be enhanced to support us to live better in the future (Carver, 1998).

At the same time, the process of cognitive reconstruction also enhances our psychological resilience—the process of individuals adapting to adversity, difficulties, or stressful events. When we face setbacks again in the future, we will have a stronger emotional regulation ability to adapt to deal with the current situation (Carver, 1998).

What’s more important is that you will find that you are stronger than you think and you can rely on yourself.

2. Immerse yourself in sadness

When we are immersed in sadness because of something, people around us will comfort us and hope that we will come out of it as soon as possible. Even we ourselves will tell ourselves to cheer up quickly. Because in the eyes of many people, sadness is a negative emotion that is harmful to our physical and mental health and does not help with practical problems.

However, a study found that after 97 college students completed a crying diary for 40 to 73 days, 30% of the students developed positive emotions, and more intense crying can bring about more positive emotions . This may be due to immersion. Being sad can better help us vent our emotions (Bylsma et al., 2008).

At the same time, sadness is a more contagious emotion that can help us strengthen our psychological connection with those around us. People who share your pain make you feel close and safe.

Sadness also improves our attention and memory for details in our environment. One study found that participants in a negative mood were better at remembering original details and ignoring misleading information, while participants in a positive mood made more mistakes. This is because happiness tends to cause a person to lose focus, thus increasing the chances of misleading information being incorporated into memory (Forgas, 2014).

3. Give up halfway

The education we often receive from childhood is not to give up on doing things halfway, and even whether a person can persist to the end is linked to whether he can endure hardship and whether he has excellent character.

Therefore, sometimes we clearly want to give up and feel that continuing to persist is a shameful thing. We dare not face this idea directly. Even thinking about giving up this option will make us feel guilty and fall into self-doubt. middle.

However, Wrosch and Miller write in the journal Psychological Science : “When people find themselves in situations where achieving a goal is unlikely, giving up may be the most adaptive decision. By giving up an unattainable goal, a person can Avoid repeated experiences of failure and their physical and mental effects. ”

Likewise, research shows that goal disengagement can be a healthier choice and an important psychological skill, because we can focus more of our limited energy on things that are more meaningful in the present. Not dwelling on past goals.

Therefore, when we face a goal that cannot be achieved by persistence, there is no shame in giving up halfway. Knowing when and how to let go is a kind of wisdom we need to master.

(Persistence and choosing to let go are both ways for us to achieve the right goals. Reply from the official account homepage: Persistence, understand what strategic persistence is.)

4. Uncontrollable anger

In the universal view, anger has always been a strong and destructive negative emotion. People who are prone to anger often feel physically uncomfortable and can cause stress to others, making them feel untrustworthy and difficult to get along with.

So is anger all bad? Anger can actually bring strength to people and allow us to build our whole selves. In an age where inner needs are suppressed, anger allows us to better assert our rights, needs, and desires when others interfere with them (Lerner, 2014; p. 2) . Anger is also an important weapon for us to establish personal boundaries and use anger to teach others “how they cannot treat us . ”

In addition to this, anger motivates a person to take on more responsibility. Social psychologist Jennifer S. Lerner and her colleague Dacher Keltner conducted an experiment in which subjects were asked to choose who would be sacrificed in a disaster. The results showed that angry people were willing to take more risks in order to save more people, and compared with fearful people, they were less willing to take risks, even if it meant sacrificing more people (Lerne & Keltner, 2001).

This study also found that angry people and optimistic people make the same choices (Lerne & Keltner, 2001), and the reason behind this is because they are both more optimistic.

It can be said that anger is not only a manifestation of resistance to the outside world, but also a belief that things will turn around.

5. Easily become anxious when things happen

We often feel that anxiety will cause us to perform poorly and miss many opportunities. At the same time, anxiety is also a manifestation of immaturity and insufficient endurance.

In fact, people who are prone to anxiety have many advantages.

One sports study showed that anxious students and professional athletes performed better when participating in competitive games (Hardy & Hutchinson, 2007). Maybe it’s because facing challenges makes a person more motivated and better prepared.

Another report shows that when people are anxious, they can accept information more objectively and make better decisions (Garrett et al., 2018). Anxiety helps you see both sides of the story, giving you more comprehensive information.

If you have a friend who is prone to anxiety, you may find that he or she is more empathetic and understanding than others (Tibi-Elhanany, 2011). This is because they have most likely experienced such inner struggles, so when friends and family encounter the same thing, they will be more sensitive and accepting. (Editor: It seems that anxiety is really a self-interested and altruistic trait.)

6. A fierce quarrel

For many people, quarreling is a very emotionally damaging thing. We worry that the tension, disagreements, and heated words in an argument will damage the relationship.

But research has found that while arguments with your partner may cause discomfort in the short term, the honest conversations that occur during arguments can be beneficial to the relationship in the long run. Quarrels are also a very important form of running-in during the running-in period of an intimate relationship.

Similarly, a 2019 report showed that happy couples do not mean that they quarrel less, but that they are good at resolving their disputes through quarrels (Rauer et al., 2020). So, if your relationship is not going well, don’t simply let the quarrel take the blame.

In fact, during a quarrel, the other half freely brings up his or her disappointments and dissatisfaction, expresses his or her views face to face, and increases understanding of each other’s bottom line, which will in turn strengthen the relationship between you and leave no room for resentment.

7. Habitual procrastination

Procrastination is often regarded as a bad habit, and people who habitually procrastinate will leave an impression of unreliability.

But a study analyzed the number of videos posted by YouTube creators and their procrastination and found that their videos were the most creative when they were moderately procrastinating. This shows that moderate procrastination can generate intrinsic motivation and the opportunity to generate new ideas, making the video more creative (Shin& Grant, 2021).

Moreover, procrastination also buys us some time, giving us more time to think and make more appropriate choices before taking action (Chauhan et al, 2020).

Another benefit of procrastination is that it can make an otherwise boring job exciting due to time constraints, thereby increasing your potential work motivation and helping us work more focused (Kim & Seo, 2013). Moreover, if a person can finish the work in time after procrastination, it will increase his self-efficacy and believe that he has the ability to complete the work effectively (Liu et al., 2017).

8. Fewer choices

Fewer choices seem to be a reflection of a person’s insufficient abilities and resources, but in fact, people who don’t have so many choices are more likely to be happy and happy.

Schwartz (2004) believes that too many choices will cause people a huge “cognitive load”, which requires people to spend more energy and brainpower to calculate and weigh. After a period of time, people will feel that they are overly conscious. The fatigue caused by the burden.

At the same time, people who have more choices tend to look back in the future and feel dissatisfied with their past choices. Because when we make a decision, we also reject many options that appeal to us. When we think of those options that have been abandoned, our joy can easily be diluted, and we will have regretful feelings of “not giving up” and “wanting them all.”

In the final analysis, no matter how many choices we have, there is only one we can really own in the end. How to expand our choice radius and improve the overall quality of our options is more critical than increasing options.

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