Dealing with change or loss is an inevitable part of life. At some point, everyone experiences varying degrees of hardship.
Resilience is the ability to cope with and recover from setbacks.
Instead of falling into despair, resilient people face life's difficulties head-on. But being resilient doesn't mean that a person won't experience difficulty or distress. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress.
Fortunately, resilience involves behaviours, thoughts and actions that anyone can learn and develop.
How to become more resilient
Like building muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and intentionality. These four core strategies can empower you to withstand and learn from difficult experiences.
1. Reframe negative thoughts
Resilient people are able to look at negative situations without blaming themselves. Instead, they look for small ways to tackle the problem and make changes that will help.
Focusing on the positive things you can do is a great way to get out of a negative mindset. This approach can also help children learn how to better cope with challenges. Encourage them to think about challenges in more positive, hopeful ways.
2. Seek support
Fostering strong relationships with friends and loved ones can provide you with support. You can also connect with others by volunteering or joining a community of your choice.
Social networks are a key ingredient among resilient people.
3. Focus on what is within your control
When faced with a crisis or problem, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by things that feel far beyond our control.
Instead of wishing there was some way to go back in time or change things, try focusing on what we can impact.
Even when the situation seems dire, taking realistic steps can help improve it. No matter how small these steps may be, they can improve your sense of control and resilience.
You can't change the past, but you can always look toward the future.
4. Manage stress
Building healthy stress management habits is an effective way to increase your resilience. Make sure you get enough food, sleep and exercise.
You may also want to try:
- cognitive restructuring
- diaphragmatic breathing exercises
- expressive writing
- biofeedback techniques
- effective communication
- problem-solving strategies
- progressive muscle relaxation
Adults and children can learn and master these skills with some practice.
Over to you
If you are struggling to cope with challenges, don't be afraid to talk to your healthcare provider. Even resilient people need help! Remember: part of being resilient is knowing when to ask for support.
What's going on in your life? Any setbacks or challenges that you've had to overcome? I hope these tips can help you.
Have a great week!
PS. Tomorrow, it's World Mental Health Day! Do something special for your health - whether that's meditating or going for a walk in the woods. Talk about mental health with your close friends and family. Together, we can make mental health and well-being a priority for everyone.