Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
Nothing teaches us about managing adversity like living with a progressive, incurable disease or two. In the words of 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, “Whatever does not kill us may make us stronger.”
While we can’t control what happens to us in life, we can choose how we respond. We can waste a lot of time waiting for the storms to pass, or we can learn to dance in the rain.
A longitudinal study of 2,398 people found those who recalled no adverse life events reported significantly worse mental health and well being outcomes than those who experienced much higher levels of adversity. As with most things in life, evidence indicated moderation is best.
It is through experiencing adverse life events that we master the skills necessary to be more adaptable and resilient, which has a positive effect on our mental health and well-being. We learn resilience by bouncing back from setbacks, like losing a job or ending a relationship, and seeing that these experiences are not as traumatic as we feared they would be. Surviving challenges gives us confidence that we can make it through whatever rough times we may encounter down the road.