R E S I L I E N C E
“Getting knocked down in life is an accident, but not getting back up is a choice.”
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resilience is defined as;
1) the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused by compressive stress
2) an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
In this article, we will be focusing more on the term psychological resilience. Psychologists define resilience as a mental attribute that permits some individuals to be knocked down by the challenges in life and get back up at least as strong as before. In this article, we will be delving into how an individual can be more resilient. Similar to a muscle, increasing resilience takes time and intentionality. Focusing on these four core parts of resilience can help to improve your ability to withstand traumatic events and learn from them.
Prioritize relationships — Making a connection with empathetic and understanding individuals can remind you that you’re not alone amid adversity. Always look out for trustworthy and compassionate people who acknowledge your feelings and provide support for the skill of resilience. The pain associated with traumatic events can cause individuals to isolate themselves, but it’s imperative to accept help and support from those who care about you.
Join a group — Along with one-on-one relationships, some individuals find that being involved in public groups, faith-based communities, or other local organizations provides social support and can help to recover hope.
Take care of your body — The word self-care may be overused, but it’s a well-founded practice for mental health and increasing resilience, and this is because stress is equal parts physical and emotional. Carrying out positive lifestyle habits like a balanced diet, lots of sleep, and regular exercise can increase the body’s adaptive capacity to stress and decrease the intensity of anxiety or depression.
Practice mindfulness — Mindful practices such as journaling, yoga, and other spiritual activities like prayer and meditation can also contribute to people’s ability to build connections and reclaim hope, which can prepare them to handle situations that require resilience. When carrying out these activities, remember the positive aspects of life and recall everything you’re grateful for.
Avoid negative outlets — Drugs, alcohol, and other substances may be the easy way out, but that’s only as useful as putting a bandage on a deep wound. Instead of providing your body with the resources and skills to manage stress, pay attention instead of seeking to eliminate the feeling of stress.
Help others — It doesn’t matter whether you’re volunteering with a local orphanage or simply being there for a friend in need; this helps an individual have a sense of purpose, promote self-worth, connect with others, and tangibly help them, which can strengthen their growth for resilience.
Move toward your goals — Develop achievable goals and do something regularly – even if it seems like a slow process – that allows you to get closer to achieving the goal in mind. Instead of concentrating on unachievable tasks, ask yourself, “What’s one task I know I can complete today that assists me in moving in the right direction?”
Look for chances for self-discovery — Individuals often find that they have grown in some aspects as a consequence of challenges and adversities. For example, after a tragedy, findings show that people report improved relationships and more strength, even while feeling vulnerable. This can increase their self-esteem and enhance their love of life.
— EMBRACE HEALTHY THOUGHTS —
Keep things in perspective — Your thinking process plays a huge role in how you feel – and how resilient you are when faced with challenges. Try identifying your irrational thoughts, such as a tendency to catastrophize things, and instead, foster a more balanced and realistic thinking process. You may not modify a stressful situation, but you can control how you think and interpret it.
Accept change — Accept that change is a part of life. Specific goals or desires may be unattainable due to various reasons in life. Coming to terms that certain aspects of life cannot be modified can help an individual focus on situations that can be changed.
Maintain a hopeful outlook — It is challenging to stay positive during adversity, but an optimistic perspective empowers you to foresee good things happening to you. Try imagining what you want instead of overthinking about what you fear. During this time, take note of any discrete ways to begin to feel better in a challenging situation.
Learn from your past — By reflecting on the past, you may see what was helpful before this to deal with adversity, and you may find new effective ways to respond to hardship. Remind yourself of where you found strength previously and reflect on what you’ve learned from those experiences.
With that, we can see how vital developing one’s resilience is for optimal mental and physical health. On the other hand, it is essential to note that seeking help from professionals is also a form of resilience. Seek professional assistance if you feel like you cannot carry out daily activities as a consequence of adversity or traumatic events. In conclusion, the critical thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone in this journey of resilience. While you may not be able to keep everything in your life in check, you can evolve by concentrating on the parts of life that you can control with the help of loved ones and trusted professionals.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Resilience. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved July 26, 2021, from: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/resilience
American Psychological Association. (2020, February 1). Building your resilience. Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/topics/resilience