For most of us, life can be a roller-coaster of achievements and disappointments. Just when we're sailing along smoothly, something occurs that knocks us off track. Dealing with the inevitable hardships in our lives can be challenging, to say the least. But there are a variety of coping strategies that can make the tough times easier.

1. Exercise

Besides the many proven health benefits of maintaining a consistent exercise regimen—such as weight loss, preventing disease, and much more—it's also a great way to deal with stress brought on by hardships. It's not only a way to relieve the lingering energy and tension that are a part of dealing with difficulties, it also releases chemicals in the brain that improve your mood. Moreover, being in better shape makes you feel more positive overall.

2. Pets

There's nothing quite like the feeling of a favorite pet greeting you at the door upon your arrival home, or snuggling with you after a long day. Playing with pets can help elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which have calming and pleasurable qualities that can be extremely helpful in times of hardship.

3. Meditation

Meditation calms us, centers us, and provides clarity. It also increases positive feelings while decreasing the negative energy you may put forth when you're dealing with life's difficulties. When you generate positive feelings, everything you see seems to change.

4. Gratitude

Being grateful in times of hardship can be easier said than done. But accepting that the storms in life have often made us stronger, and being grateful for the strength and lessons they've provided, can make dealing with present hardships much easier. It’s hard to focus on the bad when you constantly think about all the good there is despite it.

5. Education

Having a college education gives you the knowledge and tools to cope with whatever hand life deals us. Critical and creative thinking is built upon the obstacles people have dealt with in the course of human history. If you haven’t gotten a college degree yet, take an aptitude test like Find Your Context and get started on working toward a valuable academic accomplishment.

6. Talk/Write About It

Keeping your feelings to yourself can prolong the negativity that's often part of hardship. Getting it off of your chest by talking to someone else or writing it in a journal helps lighten the load. There’s something to be said about taking all of the negativity out of your life and placing it safely away onto paper.

Dealing with hardship means getting back on your feet and moving forward. Follow these tips if you’re having a hard time in life, and you’ll be sure to see the world with different, more positive and hopeful eyes.

Author's Bio: 

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.