Life is not easy and it throws at us a lot f challenges with varying difficulties. They range from the usual daily challenges to more traumatic events like the loss of loved ones, serious accidents and illnesses.
Each person reacts to these challenges differently, yet most people generally adapt over time thanks to resilience.
Resilience is the ability to cope successfully to these challenging life experiences through mental, emotional, and behavioral flexibility and adjustment to the significant sources of stress, such as family and relationship problems, work and financial stresses, and serious health problems. Resilience helps people bounce back from these difficult experiences and usually involves personal growth.
While the events we go through are painful and difficult, however, they do not determine our life outcome. Resilience helps in controlling these stressful events, modifying and growing with them. Being more resilient helps you get through life difficulties and empowers you to grow or even improve your life.
This does not mean that you won’t have difficult times. The road to resilience involves a lot of pain and considerable emotional distress.
The good news is that resilience is not a personality trait; it involves behavior, thoughts and actions that you can learn and develop. It takes time and effort just like building a muscle.
Focusing on the core components of residence, can empower you to cope with difficult situations. These involve connection, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning. I am going to explore them and focus on how they help in resilience.
Being surrounded with the right kind of people in times of difficulties can remind you that you are not alone and gives you the support that you need. The pain of traumatic events can lead people to isolate themselves, but it is important to accept the help and support of people who care about you.
Take care of your body and practice selfcare. Adapting healthy habits and lifestyle have a great effect on your wellbeing. Good nutrition, proper sleep, hydration and regular exercise can strengthen your body to adapt to stress and reduce anxiety and depression.
Practicing mindfulness, mindful journaling, yoga and other spiritual practices like prayer and meditation can also help in situations that require resilience. Be careful to reflect over positive aspects of your life and remember things you are grateful for even in your worst times.
Avoid negative outlets that mask your negative emotions like drugs and alcohol or any substance that make things worse in the long run simply because they do not help you deal with the stressors.
Find a purpose
Indulge in activities that help you work for a purpose in life. You can volunteer and help others in something that is meaningful to you.
Acknowledge and accept your emotions during hard times, reflect your problem and find a positive aspect behind it. Try to break it down to smaller more manageable pieces.
Work on putting goals for your life, make them SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and with a timeframe). Once your goals are set and clear, you start feeling things happening to get you towards your goals.
Embrace healthy thoughts:
Be careful about your thoughts, they play an important part in how you feel and how resilient you are when you face challenges. Identify the areas of irrational thinking and adopt more balanced and realistic thinking pattern. Sometimes bad things that happen to us at a certain point in our life turn out not to be bad after all and there may be something good in every obstacle we face in life. You may not be able to change a very stressful event but you can change how you deal with it. Go with the flow, change the things that you can change and learn to accept the things that you cannot change.
Maintain a hopeful outlook and remember that nothing is permanent and the only constant is change. An optimistic outlook empowers you to expect good things to happen to you.
Look back at your past experiences and see how you overcame them. They made you a stronger human being. Learn from these past experiences to respond effectively to new difficult situations. You were able to overcome them in the past and you will overcome new hurdles and obstacles.
Seek help when you need it
This is a crucial part for building resilience. The other person sees your problem from another perspective and without the feelings you have. You can seek a licensed psychologist or a close friend who can assist you to develop an appropriate strategy to move forward. Choose the style of interaction you are most comfortable in to get the best result. Just remember that you are not alone in the journey. You may not be able to control all your circumstances, but you can grow by focusing on the aspects of life you can manage with the support of loved ones and trusted professionals.