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5 Ways to Turn Crisis into Opportunity and Personal Growth

How to Reshape Your Thoughts to Recover From Crises and Setbacks

Navigating life's challenges and crises can be a painful struggle. In the moment, it's hard to see how tough times can ever lead to growth and opportunity.

But, as it turns out, the mental fortitude required to turn “lemons into lemonade” is a very valuable skill to develop. Research even shows that , “hardiness is the key to the resiliency for not only surviving, but also thriving, under stress. Hardiness enhances performance, leadership, conduct, stamina, mood and both physical and mental health.”

To learn how to turn life's most difficult situations into an opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth, continue reading.

1. First, take a deep breath and collect your thoughts

It's easy to let panic and stress control your thoughts, but allowing those emotions to take over won't lead to growth. When your mind spirals and catastrophizes , breathe deeply and remind yourself that this moment will pass.

You may even want to try journaling , which can be a great way to process how you feel.

2. Don't allow perceptions of the crisis to cloud your judgments

When crisis strikes, you might feel like your life is over and that there's no hope for a better future. Realistically, that's probably far from the truth. People bounce back from disaster every day.

Challenge those perceptions and remember that you can bounce back, too.

3. Use this time to reevaluate your life plans

Have you ever been stuck in a rut, or felt like your life is on autopilot? Sometimes, difficult experiences are the perfect wakeup call and catalyst for change. You might decide to try a new career, dive into a new hobby, or travel to a city you've always dreamed of visiting.

So, when crisis strikes, use it as an opportunity to think about what you really want out of life.

4. Remember that you can't control the past

Accepting that we can't control the past can be a bitter truth to accept. But, it's impossible to embrace the future while obsessing over past failures and mistakes.

This doesn't mean you should feel helpless or hopeless, because you can control your actions. Focus your energy on future possibilities and developing a healthy mindset, and you'll be much closer to turning crisis into opportunity.

5. When faced with chronic issues and setbacks, learn how to look at the bigger picture

Some crises are acute and will only happen once. Others are more chronic and happen throughout your life. Things like depression, anxiety, struggles with self-esteem , and other long-lasting dilemmas can occur throughout life.

To move beyond the cycle of struggle, practice assessing your own emotions and behaviors without judgment. It will be much easier to objectively assess the bigger picture and see a path forward.