positivity stronger
Gratitude,  Journaling,  Mindfulness,  Self Development,  self-care,  Ultimate Blog Challenge

“New Year, New You” 30-Day Positivity Challenge – Day 4

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.

If you grow a garden, then you probably know about “hardening off.” This is when you take young plants that have only been subjected to the warmth of a greenhouse or protective indoor shelter under grow lights and bring them outdoors for a few hours each day. You’re supposed to do this for increasing lengths of time until the newly matured plants are strong enough to withstand the elements on their own. Once your plants are fully hardened off, they’re ready to be planted outside in your garden beds.

If you think about the phrase “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” you’ll see how it applies to garden plants and also to people.

The plants that are subjected to increasingly harsh conditions slowly over time are much more likely to survive than plants that have only known the cushy existence of a sheltered life under grow lights.

People, too, become more resilient after facing difficult experiences that cause them to develop survival skills and grow emotionally.

Surviving though Tough TImes

If you think you’ve had a tough life, or if you think you’ve been dealt a bad hand or made some poor decisions, consider this: you’ve survived thus far. You’ve been “hardened off” by life, and you’re all the tougher for it.

Tougher doesn’t have to mean developing a coarse or mean personality. Tough can simply mean that you now have a thicker skin, in a way that things that may have bothered you before don’t seem to be much of a big deal now.

Or, things that once seemed overwhelming and impossible to manage, now seem easy because you’ve developed coping strategies that work for you.

They call this maturity, and it’s something to feel blessed about even if you have to turn it around in your mind a few more times to see it.

Exercise: Keeping Your Chin Up Through the Tough Times

You may not feel especially grateful for the hardships you’ve faced in life. Maybe you never seem to have enough money. Maybe your marriage hasn’t been all moonlight and roses, and in fact, sometimes you’re downright angry about that.

But instead of dwelling on the negative experiences of the past, step outside of your emotional self. Identify ways that you’ve found to handle people and events that have challenged you mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Think about unexpected life lessons that you’ve been dealt from people who have changed you for the better even as they challenged you.

Journal It.

Writing things down can provide clarity. If you want to develop a sense of having been blessed for your life’s experiences, especially the tough ones, then write them out. Tell your story, even if only to yourself.

Compare the ways in which you opted to handle problems in the past, versus how you tend to manage things now. What’s different? Have you managed to work things out in a way that’s favorable? That’s something to feel blessed about –  your own natural resilience.

Loving Life — The Reboot!


This article provides general information and discussion about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this article, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. Consult your own physician for any medical issues that you may be having.


  • Laurie

    Adversity can definitely make us better or bitter.
    Tough times do shape us.

    Thanks for encouraging us to react in a positive way!

    Ridge Haven Homestead

  • Tamara

    You know what comes to my mind as I’m reading this?
    Helicoptering your kids does not help in their hardening off process. And yet, some Moms keep their children in the greenhouse at all times, nourishing and cherishing them. However that way they’ll never withstand a heavy rain or a cold night.

    • Dominique

      Good analogy. We have had to take 2 different approaches with our kids. The oldest has been sheltered a lot less than the youngest (who has Down Syndrome). We are trying to unshelter her a bit more too…

  • Martha

    Great advice! I’m always thinking positive and if something turns negative I still find something positive from the situation. We can all learn from things gone wrong and move forward to the positive.

  • Samantha T

    HI there. I loved this post. It has been a really hard few years and definitely hard to keep your “chin up” all the time. I have taken the advice of others and have been trying to journal like your post says. It does seem to help get out some of the angry and scary feelings that are in my head and does help for a while. I guess the longer I do it the better it will get. Thanks for sharing this post. Happy New Year.

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