What is resilience and who needs it anyway?
Resilience refers to how well you can deal with and bounce back from the difficulties of life. It can mean the difference between handling pressure and losing your cool. Resilient people tend to maintain a more positive outlook and cope with stress more effectively.
Research has shown that while some people seem to come by resilience naturally, these behaviors can also be learned. Whether you’re going through a tough time now or you want to be prepared for the next one, here are six techniques you can focus on in order to foster your own resilience.
1 Embrace Change, It’s How We Grow and Evolve.
Flexibility is an essential part of resilience. By learning how to be more adaptable, you’ll be better equipped to respond when faced with a life crisis. Resilient people often utilize these events as an opportunity to branch out in new directions. While some people may be crushed by abrupt changes, highly resilient individuals are able to adapt and thrive.
2. Be Positive and Trust It Will Get Better.
Staying optimistic during dark periods can be difficult, but maintaining a hopeful outlook is an important part of resiliency. What you are dealing with may be difficult, but it’s important to remain hopeful and positive about a brighter future.
Positive thinking does not mean ignoring the problem in order to focus on positive outcomes. It means understanding that setbacks are temporary and that you have the skills and abilities to combat the challenges you face.
3. Nurture Yourself.
When you’re stressed, it can be all too easy to neglect your own needs. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercise, and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis situation. Instead, focus on building your self-nurturance skills, even when you’re troubled. Make time for activities that you enjoy. Cut yourself some slack and do whatever you enjoy… watch a movie, listen to music, engage in hobbies and tasks like gardening, cooking or walking in nature to name a few.
4. Set Goals, Learn New Skills.
Crisis situations are daunting. They may even seem insurmountable. Resilient people are able to view these situations in a realistic way and then set reasonable goals to deal with the problem.
When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what is before you. Brainstorm possible solutions, and then break them down into manageable steps.
5. Take Action.
Simply waiting for a problem to go away on its own only prolongs the crisis. Instead, start working on resolving the issue immediately. While there may not be any fast or simple solutions, you can take steps toward making your situation better and less stressful.
Focus on the progress that you have made thus far and planning your next steps, rather than becoming discouraged by the amount of work that still needs to be accomplished.
Actively working on solutions will also help you feel more in control. Rather than just waiting for things to happen, being proactive allows you to make your goals a reality.
6. Connect with Supportive Friends and Family.
My mom used to say a problem shared is a problem split two. It’s important to have people you can confide in. Having caring, supportive people around you acts as a protective factor during times of crisis. While simply talking about a situation with a friend or loved one won’t make your troubles go away, it allows you to share your feelings, get support, receive positive feedback, and come up with possible solutions to your problems.
Resilience is a multi-faceted capability.
To face challenges and respond appropriately can require us to draw on all our resources, both internal and external, including our personal relationships.
The good news is that improving our resources can help to develop resilience, and there are many ways in which we can do that.