11/14/2013 08:53 am ET

7 Choices To Survive The Toughest Of Times

A break in a pounding rainstorm over fields ... while driving through Oregon. Shot from the passenger window at highway speed
A break in a pounding rainstorm over fields ... while driving through Oregon. Shot from the passenger window at highway speed, with my Pansonic Lumix ZS10.

The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life -- and your well-being -- off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

By Alice Hoffman

No one is immune to bad fortune. It comes at different times, when you least expect it, when you're living your life. But how do we make it through these times? Are there rules, a map to lead us through? This is what I wondered when I lost members of my family, when they suffered with illnesses and when I myself became ill. I wasn't sure I had the strength to go through these trials. But there were people who did rise to the occasion, who met sorrow head on, who continued to live full lives despite their hardships. How, I wondered, did they manage to do so?

The question is a deep and difficult one, and it comes down to this: How is it possible to be human? How do people lose those they love most and still manage to get out of bed in the morning? There is no map. There are no rules. Being human doesn't come with a handbook. It's the human heart that leads us forward, the amazing capacity to love, to remember, and to choose happiness.

Below find seven choices I've made and how they got me through the toughest of times.

Alice Hoffman's Choices For Happiness

Alice Hoffman is the author of Survival Lessons. Follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page.

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