Resilience often refers to the ability to deal with, or adapt to, the pathological effects of stress. Resilience isn’t about ignoring your feelings, but rather having the ability to feel pain, anger or confront adversity without becoming paralyzed by it. It won’t make your problems go away, but it may give you a chance to see past them. You can develop skills to become more resilient by focusing on the positive.
It’s not that you either have it or you don’t. Resilience involves thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone. Research shows that resilience is the result of being able to interact with your environment using strategies that promote well-being. And with help from social policies, community, friends, and family, resilience is more likely to occur.
Here are some tips to improve your resilience (adapted from the Mayo Clinic health website):
Get connected. Building a strong community and positive relationships with loved ones and friends can provide you with needed support and acceptance.
Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning.
Learn from experience. Think back on how you have been able to deal with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. Write about past experiences in a journal or by blogging to help you identify both positive and negative behavior patterns.
Remain hopeful. You can’t change what’s happened in the past, but you can change the future. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
Take care of yourself. Be conscious of your own needs and feelings, both physically and emotionally. Include physical and mental activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy diet. To restore an inner sense of peace or calm, practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
Be proactive. Don’t ignore your problems or try to wish them away. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, know that your situation can improve if you actively work at it.
Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. You CAN improve your resiliency and mental well-being!