During the early dark days of World War II, German U-boats wreaked havoc on U.S. ships bringing vital supplies to our ally Great Britain. Their ships sunk by torpedo, oddly, younger, more fit sailors would more often drown, but older, less-fit sailors would more often survive. Investigating this strange phenomena offered one of the early keys to our modern understanding of resilience.
It seems that younger sailors would give up more easily. But the older sailors had learned an important life lesson: when met by a major stressful challenge, keep trying and don't give up. Even when it might appear hopeless, don't give up hope. As in so much psychological advice, this does not mean that its easy to keep trying and keep rising to the challenge. Life can bring some incredible hardships and sometimes we have brought these on ourselves. But we also have the capacity to "dig deep" and keep up the fight, to change, and to once again thrive. We have the capacity, sometimes with help from friends or family, sometimes with professional help, sometimes with help from a trusted clergy or through prayer, to cope better, go back at the problem, improve our ways of handling internal and external stress.
As in my earlier post on "dancing the tango," this often means pushing ourselves to act how we know we should, even before we feel motivated to do so. Actually, we do this all the time. We may listen to our kids or a friend, even when we are tired after a long day at work, or just not in the mood. We go to work when we are feeling like getting back under the covers on a cold, rainy morning. And sometimes, when life has hit us really hard, we need to stay at our daily tasks and routines when we would rather just give up, give in, or move on.
So, it's okay to take a break. It is okay to huddle up and regroup. But it's also important to "get back in the game."
As in all my posts, if these small "wisdoms" are not enough to turn around your anxiety, depression, OCD symptoms, drinking, or family conflict, it's time to seek professional help. I have often found that patients and clients that come to me, have worked hard to cope on their own, but are ready to engage professional help to aid their journey. Mental health professionals are trained to support you and help you get through difficult times of life. I can be reached at 216-402-3599 or my confidential email: firstname.lastname@example.org.