The silver lining: We’re not going to lie, breakups can feel pretty devastating. However, they also provide an opportunity to change your life for the better. Following a breakup, other neglected areas of our lives (such as a poor social life or unsatisfying job) often come more clearly into focus. You will also have more time to work on improving these areas. Rather than spending your hours mourning your relationship, put that energy into setting some goals and creating a life to be proud of.
Being passed over for promotion
The silver lining: Missing out on a promotion at work can be humiliating, painful and hard to recover from. If you didn’t get the job though, just remember that a promotion can have terrible effects on your health. A study by Warwick University found that people who had recently been promoted had no health improvements; rather their mental health decreased by a whopping 10 per cent!
The silver lining: While it may not be a huge life-changing event, anyone who has had their car break down knows how annoying it can be. However, the stress of your car breaking down could actually strengthen your immune system. While long term stress is bad for us, the cortisol released through short bursts of stress causes a short term boost to the immune system. Also, being unable to use your car could be the push you need for a healthier lifestyle. Swapping your car for walking or cycling can drastically cut your risk of heart disease and decrease your risk of obesity.
Unsuccessful job interview
The silver lining: Although it can feel pretty disheartening to miss out on getting a job, it’s worth bearing in mind the saying “as one door closes another one opens”, and remembering that this missed opportunity has potentially freed you up for an even better one along the road. Also, while you may not have got the job, you have accumulated some valuable interview experience which will help you wow your prospective employers when your dream job comes along.
The silver lining: While gaining too much weight is bad for your health, if you have recently gained a few pounds you can take consolation in the fact that research suggests that slightly overweight people actually live longer than those of normal weight, and significantly longer than those who are excessively thin. If you tend to gain weight on your bum and thighs, even better – research shows that fat stored in this area mops up harmful fatty acids, contains an anti-inflammatory that prevents arteries from clogging, and cuts your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
Having a fall out
The silver lining: Not many people enjoy falling out with their friends or partner. However, research has found that occasional conflict could actually be good for you. According to a study by a researcher at the University of Michigan, avoiding conflict can lead to symptoms of physical problems the next day, including an abnormal rise and fall of the stress hormone cortisol. Furthermore, expressing your feelings can lead to healthier relationships as issues can be resolved earlier on.
The silver lining: Many of us dread getting older, yet research suggests that happiness actually increases with age. A study at the University of Warwick found that happiness increased as participants got older, beginning to rise from the age of 45. Furthermore, getting older can reduce your number of bad decisions. Research results published in the journal Psychological Science indicate that while younger people are often motivated by immediate results, older adults are better at evaluating the delayed benefits, as well as the immediate ones, when making decisions.
Failing a driving test
The silver lining: Many people count taking their driving test as one of the most stressful tasks they undertake, and failing your test can really knock your confidence. However, research has found that those who fail their first tests ultimately become the best drivers. The survey commissioned by Continental Tyres found that those who pass on their second attempt are less likely to suffer road rage, be stopped by the police and scare passengers with their driving. These were also likely to have fewer points on their license and have had fewer accidents in the last five years.
Bad first date
The silver lining: Bad first dates can be embarrassing,uncomfortable and disappointing, particularly when you had your hopes set high. However, it is important to think of your date less as a disaster and more as a learning opportunity. Not everyone will be right for you, but bad dates can teach you important communication skills and lessons about yourself and others that will help to prepare you for when the right person does come along. Furthermore, laughing over a bad first date can be a great way to bond with your friends later on!
Going through a rough patch
The silver lining: Unfortunately many of us go through a rough patch or two in our lives where we encounter a lot of problems. While these periods are neither fun nor desirable and can be tough to get through at times, the silver lining is that they can help to develop coping mechanisms so that we can more easily deal with problems in the future and learn not to sweat the small stuff. Tough times can be difficult to get through so may require expert help, but it is important to focus on the fact that you can get through it and you can come out the other side a stronger person.