Years of working with students and clients, and personal life experiences have helped me discover the undeniable significance of absorbing life’s challenges, adapting, managing, and persevering in the midst of adversity. This skill, called resilience, is the capacity for maintaining strength during stressful life events. It helps us recover and spring back. We can face difficult experiences, drawing on our strengths, relationships, and communities, thus gaining greater confidence in our ability to rise above obstacles.
Fundamentally, resilience is an inherent process of life, not a trait; it can be learned and enhanced by nearly anyone. The common misconception that resilient individuals experience no negative thoughts or emotions is just not true! Resilience cannot make our problems disappear; rather, it provides ways to look past them. We are human, experiencing “ups and downs”! Greater flexibility and growing confidence help transform our tribulations into enriching contributions to a more satisfying life.
Factors enhancing resilience include supportive relationships, an uplifting outlook, and the ability to create realistic plans and carry them out. A few tips for building resilience are as follows:
Make connections, accepting support from those who care and will listen to you;
Help others in their time of need; a compassionate act of kindness may bring many blessing your way ~ and it makes you feel good!
Avoid considering crises as insurmountable; reframe your life, changing how you interpret and respond to such events;
Accept that change is a part of living, adapting to unalterable situations and focusing on managing those you can modify;
Navigate toward your goals: Ask yourself: “What can I accomplish today to help me move toward my objectives?”
Take decisive actions to manage problems rather than trying to “wish” them away;
Look for opportunities for self-discovery: Oftentimes, experiencing hardship allows strengthening of body, mind and spirit, increasing feelings of self-worth, resulting in heightened appreciation for life;
Nurture a positive view of yourself, maintaining a hopeful outlook and confidence in your capabilities; trust your instincts rather than worrying about your fears;
Keep things in perspective, viewing the “big picture”, avoiding blowing situations out of proportion; just ask yourself: “Will this really matter in five years?”
Take care of yourself! Self-compassion and loving-kindness go a long way; attend to your needs and feelings, engaging in activities you find relaxing.
Exercise your body, mind, and spirit through movement as well as quiet, contemplative times ~ every single day! (http://resliencyquiz.com/index.shtml)
Why should we build resilience? Ultimately, when we are resilient, we embrace our body as a whole, reducing stress and renewing our spirit. Our thinking becomes clearer, our balance and flexibility soar! We can minimize reactivity to stressors and recover more quickly, secure in the understanding that using specific skills will carry us through challenging situations. The key is identifying ways that work best for you. Developing resilience is a personal journey. Consider the tips above and begin to transform your life ~ adapting … navigating … managing … and persevering!