If I can answer the question in one word I would say by building RESILIENCE.
Let me tell you the life story of Dr. Victor E Frankl in brief. He was a neurologist, psychiatrist, philosopher, author, and a HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. Before he was taken to the concentration camp he used to work at neurology department of the Rothschild hospital.
In 1942 after nine months of his marriage Dr. Frankl, with his wife and his whole family were sent to the concentration camp. One by one his family members died in the camp, his brother and mother were gassed, his father died of starvation, his wife died of typhus.
During this time it was difficult for Dr. Frankl to communicate with his family members since they were separated among different camps. Proper meals for the inmates was like a dream They were severely malnourished and adding to that they had to survive the harsh winters of northern Europe without proper clothes. They had to do hard labor everyday and anyone found unfit for physical labor had no option other than to go to the gas chamber.
Dr. Frankl was resilient to survive for his family, he was determined that he would reunite with his family one day. Throughout his time in the concentration camp he was on a mission on search of meaning of life. According to him, the meaning of life is found in every moment of living; life never ceases to have meaning, even in suffering and death.
There is no singular meaning of life. Your life’s meaning depends on your decisions and situations. And it is not that you need to find life’s meaning first and act, but how you act in various situations life throws at your way.
Like in case of Dr. Frankl, he found meaning when stumbling through the night, barefoot, across icy rocks and through big puddles, forced to work by the Nazi guards during the harsh winter of Auschwitz, simply by thinking of his wife, imagining her face up in the clouds and finding bliss in this moment of love.
Dr. Frankl survived the camp and went on to be the founder of logotherapy post world war II which describes the search for a life meaning as the central human motivational force. He described this theory through his survival story at the concentration camp in his book ‘Man’s search for meaning’. It went on to inspire the lives of millions of people.
Your Hardest times define you
I hope you realize from the above story that even the hardest times has some meaning that is bigger than our own life, you just need to find it. It’s those who can find that meaning during their hardest times soar high.
Like the ongoing pandemic has disrupted the daily lives of millions of people. Millions dealt with personal traumas, loss of a loved ones, declining health, unemployment etc. Such tragedy may leave a heavy toll on your mood, health and outlook. You may feel powerless thinking what would happen to you next.
Thing is that you can never control what happens to you but you are in 100% control how you are going to react to anything happening to you. That’s when the practice of resilience comes into play.
1 .Firstly you can’t deny what you are feeling and what you are going through. You need to accept the situation, then only you can focus what is in your control or what actions you can take.
2. You may also reach out to people who are willing to listen to you. In tough times you may be in the mindset of withdrawing yourself from any social interactions but it won’t help. But avoid negative people at all cost.
3. These are the times when you need to take utmost care of yourselves both mentally and physically. Try to stay motivated and get enough exercise. Try to express gratitude and focus on stuffs that you still have.
4. Don’t try to fight with the situation but be hopeful.
As Dr. Frankl once quoted, ‘ Everything can be taken from a man, but one thing: the last of human freedoms- to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way’.