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How To Heal From Adversity - 5 key lessons

We all at some point will go through adversity but how we respond has a massive impact on the quality of our life.

Having gone through a significant amount of trauma, I want to share my learnings to help others who are suffering (e.g. with stress, or severe illness); to give hope and optimism that there are ways to heal no matter how serious the trauma.

1 Realise that your wellness is inextricably linked to your mind and body. They are inseparable. This is NOT how conventional medicine views illness - physicians only look at the physical ailment, never ask about your personal circumstances affecting your mental wellness. My 3 heart attacks were related to work stress - I had physical symptoms too, trying to warn me of the danger but I was not aware of the importance of their interrelationship so ignored them with huge consequences.

2 Explore your beliefs & emotions which may have played a part in your trauma. Limiting beliefs, primarily based on childhood doesn't serve any value and needs to be changed. Beliefs are important because they shape your behaviours. This becomes critical if your behaviours are toxic to your health. Once you understand those damaging beliefs, you can change your behaviours.

3 Be Authentic -many of us shut out our personal values at work and have 2 personas - a work one and a personal one. Subjugating your real self to a corporate construct for the sake of "fitting in" at work is short-sighted, draining and leads to an emptiness and inner conflict even if you have achieved "success". Eventually, as happened with me, your body will rebel.

4 Practice self-compassion - this is essential for your growth and change of behaviours. It also ensures you don't engage in self-blame or compare yourselves to others - 2 highly toxic activities. It also ensures greater self-awareness of your body; enabling you to understand changes in your mind and body and make changes.

5 Accept what has happened and use it as an opportunity for growth and learning. It ensures you live in the present moment rather than in the past and is the foundation for moving on and building better. My self-denial of events delayed my recovery and caused repeated anguish and pain.

My experiences seem to correlate closely with others who have recovered from severe illness and disease. Still not convinced? Empirical studies by Harvard psychiatrist, Dr Jeffrey Rediger of people who make "miraculous" recoveries from severe illness shows that the key to recovery is self-transformation - "...people who get better change their beliefs about themselves.."

Finally, please don't wait until you are at a crisis point to begin your self-discovery!

I'd be delighted to talk through any of the points further through an informal coaching chat. Please contact me at

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