Cathy Chester | An Empowered Spirit

Facing Life’s Challenges: Finding Your Inner Strength

Candle Meditation Tranquility Peace

“Happiness is a choice. You can choose to be happy. There’s going to be stress in life, but it’s your choice whether you let it affect you or not.” ~Valerie Bertinelli 

My cousin always tells me things happen the way they are supposed to happen.  I believe that’s true.  Things happen for a reason, and because they do I’ve often contemplated what “the big picture is.”  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never know what the Big Plan is from the Person Upstairs.  So I sit back and let it all play out.  

Sometimes life throws us a curve, and we have to face them as best as we can.  Without the curves, we’d never recognize the beauty.  Yet the curves can be tough ones to handle.  They can make us feel sad, anxious or fearful.   We can feel lost in their midst, and reach around to find some solid footing again.

Our spirit is tested during times of adversity.  Will we wither and spin out of control, or will we rely on our inner strength to pull us through?

Here are some ways I’ve found to help me during difficult and stressful times:

  • Friends and Family: Reach out to others who love and support you.  I am blessed to have people who truly care about me, and I turn to them in good times and bad.  People who love you will always be willing to listen.
  • Meditation: Meditating is extremely beneficial in calming your mind.  Here’s a simple explanation on how to meditate.  Wikihow: How to Meditate
  • Prayer: I find a short prayer always lifts my spirit.  No matter who you pray to, putting a few words together can be powerful.
  • Journaling: Writing your thoughts down in a journal can help calm your mind.  I love the blog “Tiny Buddha.” Here is her blog post about journaling.  Tiny Buddha: Journaling Tips
  • Exercise: Exercise has been found to be beneficial when dealing with stress.  As The Mayo Clinic says, “Exercise is meditation in motion.”  Here is their article on the relationship between exercise and stress. The Mayo Clinic: Exercise and Stress
  • Outlets: I watch old sitcoms (of course M*A*S*H or The Mary Tyler Moore Show!), movies (my husband and I have watched “His Girl Friday” a zillion times), knit or read when I am facing a difficult situation.  They calm my mind and distract any stressful thoughts.
  • Pets: Spending time with our beloved furry friends is a true blessing.  They give us unconditional love.  I am thankful that at 9 years old, my wise son insisted we adopt our first cat.  Thanks, Jordan. 

 How do you handle stress and the challenges in your life?


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18 thoughts on “Facing Life’s Challenges: Finding Your Inner Strength

  1. Lisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Great tips. I tend to stew… Well, it looks like I’m stewing, but I’m really praying. I also like to get outside, walk my dogs, and rock (and stew) on my rocker on the back deck overlooking the pines filled with squirrels and birds.

    PS: Every time I come here I don’t want to just FEED your fish, I want to STEAL them for my own blog. But I won’t… because I don’t have room. But I do adore the little fellas. 😀
    Lisa @ Grandma’s Briefs recently posted…Seven days… and the language of loveMy Profile

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thanks, Lisa. I actually saw the fish on someone else’s blog and I knew I wanted to steal them. You and I think alike!

      Thanks for sharing your tips on dealing with stress. A rocker sounds wonderful. I always wanted one! So you can rock away for me as well, eh?

      Thanks for leaving your thoughtful comments.


    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Absolutely, Kit! We surely know a lot about stress, eh? Let’s eliminate it, or learn how to live with it, together. Part of our MS community…

      Thanks for leaving your thoughtful comments~

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      You are most welcome, Chris!

      Thanks for leaving your thoughtful comments. I am so glad you enjoyed my post.


  2. Tammy

    Cathy, yes, life certainly does throw curve balls our way, and often when they are least expected. How we deal with them speaks volumes about our outlook and survival skills. My biggest respite has always been my furry critter family. No question. Still working on the meditation part (damn if patience is a required skill) and will master it … any day not. Enjoyed the read!

    1. Cathy Chester Post author


      Don’t we love our furry creatures? They are simply incredible!

      We all need to deal with stress the best we can. I learned a lot over the years how NOT to deal with it. Now I’m on a road to learn how to live a better quality of life with it. Difficult? You bet. But certainly well worth it, for both of us!

      I sincerely appreciate you reading my post and leaving your thoughtful comments. We’ll keep working on better meditating, eh?


    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      Thanks, Ellen. Yes, stress is something everyone needs to do their best to avoid. So thanks for another resource to turn to on better dealing with it.

      Thanks for another thoughtful comment~

  3. Deni

    What a great post! The quote is marvelous – I’m going to pass that along. Throughout my life, I’ve used all of those methods as a means of reducing stress. The only one I have a hard time with is meditation; I have a really hard time getting my mind to quiet. Another method I use is gardening. I can totally find my Zen place amid the blooms, leaves, dirt, and even the weeds. 🙂
    Deni recently posted…The Never Ending StoryMy Profile

    1. Cathy Chester Post author


      Oh, I used to love to garden. I had to stop fighting the deer – they won! But I loved planting pots and impatients, etc., since I learned how to garden from my dad. He was a great gardener. I love listening to the birds and being one with nature. Sounds corny but it’s what de-stresses me.

      Thanks so very much for your lovely comments, and for sharing your own ways of dealing with stress. All A-1 ways!

      Best to you always~

  4. Kate Papas

    When I’m stressed I try to do things for myself, such as going to the cinema, to the theatre, for a walk, swimming, meeting some friend. I also write and spend some time with my cat!

    1. Cathy Chester Post author

      That is exactly what I love to do (particularly the cinema) and it truly helps.

      Thanks for much for sharing your thoughts, Kate. I sincerely appreciate them.


    1. Cathy Chester Post author


      I am so glad we share so many stress reducers! A new pup in our midst is a great gift to them and to us. It must feel wonderful (I don’t have a dog). Enjoy it.

      Thanks for always leaving your lovely comments and sharing your story. It is deeply appreciated.


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