You’ve probably wondered how to adapt better in the face of trauma, tragedy, threats, and, in general, all kinds of stressful situations. It’s been shown that psychologically resilient people have more emotional stability, purpose in life, and altruism. Moreover, resilience seems to be related to happiness. It makes it possible to get through difficult times and to recover faster after them. This is why resilience is so important.
Fortunately, resilience is a skill you can learn. Every time we are faced with a stressful situation, it’s up to us to negotiate this stress. The way we deal with a stressful situation has a big impact on our overall mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It’s been shown that a resilient brain shuts off the stress response and returns to baseline faster.
Even though we don’t always know when stress may strike, we can, at least, be better prepared to meet it when it does. In order to build resilience, you must come to terms with the fact that you can’t control all the circumstances, but you can control the way you react to them. The best way to deal with any stressful situation is to tackle it head-on. Also, having an optimistic approach to the outcome helps too.
How to build resilience?
There are so many ways you can train for resilience. You have to find what works best for you because there is no one size fits all. These are some of the tips you can try incorporating into your daily routine to build and strengthen your resilience.
Build a strong supportive community that catches you when you fall
Make sure you have a group of friends and family who are there for you. Having people you can rely on and who can rely on you is the most important thing. It makes it easier to put things into perspective, to objectively assess any situation, and to find the best solutions for you.
Face your fears and embrace change
We tend to avoid what makes us uncomfortable, but that never helps. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learn to live in the gap between good things and bad things. It’s the discomfort that teaches you to deal with your pain, fight, evolve, and grow. Try to understand your fear. Acknowledge it. Sit with it. See how you can look at it as an opportunity to develop a new skill that would help you to deal with your fear. Think about the things that could go wrong and practice how you would handle each situation. Also, accept that change is an inevitable part of life, even if it’s not always easy.
Choose your attitude
You don’t get to choose the difficult situation you’re in, the tragedy, or the trauma in your life, but you can choose your attitude toward it. Be intentional and look for the silver lining in any situation. Focus your attention on something positive. Know that, somehow, things will work out. Understand that your setback is temporary and that you have the skills and the ability to overcome it. Believe in yourself and in your ability to face your problems. Be optimistic. Choose to believe that you are a fighter, not a victim. Trust that you can adapt to whatever might come, and have an optimistic attitude about the outcome. Oftentimes something good seems to come from something bad.
I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times before, but it really works. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when something goes wrong. The best way to counter that is gratitude. Yes, there might be things that are wrong, but there are also so many things that are good, and kind, and supportive. Gratitude reminds you that there is something else out there that is positive. It takes your mind from the things that go wrong and it allows you to detach yourself from your negative thinking. With gratitude, you prime your brain for optimism. When you commit to a daily practice of gratitude you become clearer and more resilient.
It teaches you to become an observer of your negative thoughts and emotions, and that allows you to decide whether you engage your brain in any of those, or you simply let them go without judging. Mindfulness gives you the chance to take some of your power back without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down. It also helps you calm down, so you are able to return faster to the normal levels of heart rate and breathing rate.
Find your purpose
When you are fighting for something you believe in, you can become pretty strong. Living with purpose will give you a better understanding of all the things that come your way, and you will be better equipped to deal with and emotionally recover from any negative experience.
Yes, physical fitness is linked to resilience – physical and emotional. Any kind of movement can help: walking, running, jogging, or swimming. A regular workout regimen minimizes inflammation and keeps your brain healthy and happy.
The most important thing is to start your resilience training now. Find the resilience-building skills that you know you’ll stick with and practice those skills again and again until you change your brain response to stress and become more resilient.
Which one of these skills do you think you could try? What do you do to become more resilient?
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