When you think of resiliency you probably think of the ability to manage and bounce back from challenge and difficult times. And you might think that this is a skill either you have or you don't.
In fact, resiliency is a skill that can be learned and improved upon throughout your life. An important point because your resiliency can be the difference between managing the pressure of a challenging situation and losing your cool. And it can mean the difference between surviving, and thriving during difficult times.
Resilient people tend to maintain a more optimistic outlook and use skills like flexibility and adaptability to cope with stress more effectively, so they can come out the other side stronger.
How can you boost your resiliency?
1. Embrace change: accept that nothing ever stays the same. Life will have challenges and obstacles – both internal and external. When you move with the tides rather than fight against them, you give yourself a leg up!
2. Don’t dwell on negative thinking: negative thoughts keep us worried and anxious, and well, thinking negatively. How can you shift your mindset into positive thinking? Lean into something positive – go for a walk, meditate, pray. Dwelling on the negative WILL NOT help you find the solution.
3. Know yourself: take an inventory. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Use your strengths to solve problems and acknowledge your weaknesses to enlist support.
4. Set goals: set realistic goals you can begin to accomplish on a regular basis, even if only in the short term. Maybe it is something creative and fun, maybe it is a small step in your health and fitness routine, maybe it is a project in the home or a way to give back to your community.
5. Take action: don’t just dream it, DO IT. When you tackle problems head on you send yourself the message that you are in charge and in control, even in the most difficult situations. You put yourself in the driver’s seat and boost confidence in your abilities to make change happen (vs. sitting around worrying and waiting)
6. Be optimistic: everything changes. E V E R Y T H I N G. Sun, rain, winter, summer, illness, healing, sadness, laughter. When in the midst of challenge you can see something to look forward to, acknowledge where you are is not permanent and remain hopeful in the possibilities that lie ahead, you are able to appreciate both the lessons and the blessings even more.
7. Have humor: you don’t have to be serious all the time, even in challenging, difficult and serious times. The idea that you have to walk around in a mood that matches the challenge is false. Humor will help you see the lighter side, offer a necessary outlet, and put life into perspective. It is not all black and white, there are many shades of grey.
8. Find your tribe: when you have a committed social network you have access to the support you need to move though life’s challenges. Surrounding yourself with a reliable, caring, and a supportive team means you never have to face challenging times alone.
9. Take care of yourself: when you are stressed, anxious or worried, you tend to neglect yourself. Ironically this is when you need to take care of yourself the most! Taking care of your body, mind and spirit will keep you strong, empowering you to better handle difficult times. Healthy habits such as eating healthfully, moving daily, and mindful practices are all essential aspects of supporting your health and well-being enabling and strengthen your resiliency.
Practice makes progress. Resiliency can take time to build, so try not to feel discouraged if you find yourself struggling to manage or cope with challenging situations or difficult life events. We can all improve and strengthen our resilience in a variety of ways. Resilience also will not look them same on everyone. We each have our own unique strengths and will discover our own effective coping tools and mechanisms that serve us well. Don't worry about getting it perfect, focus on progress.