Everyone faces difficult periods at certain points in their lives. Sometimes, however, adversity can come in waves, with one misfortune or hardship closely following another. These experiences can change the way we look at the world and lead to hopelessness or clinical depression. Fortunately, you can find resilience even in the toughest circumstances by focusing on a few proven strategies.
What Is Resilience?
Essentially, resilience is the ability to effectively cope with difficult, life-changing events. It is also the capacity to make realistic plans and execute them, even when you don't want to. This may mean allowing yourself to experience painful emotions, solving difficult problems or taking action when you'd prefer to step back. Fortunately, resilience is not a genetic characteristic of strong people; it is a skill that anyone can learn.
Developing a Resilient Attitude
- Build relationships. Research shows that strong, supportive relationships can be a powerful driving force behind resilience. Whether it's friends, family or co-workers, reach out for support, encouragement and love during difficult times.
- Accept change. It's natural to resist change when it brings pain. That said, once it occurs, you will continue experiencing negative emotions if you keep fighting realities. Acknowledge that change is painful, hard and unwanted. Then, create a forward-focused mentality and embrace new possibilities, even if you have trouble letting go.
- Recognize your strength. Most people can look to other difficult periods in their lives, when they overcame a big disappointment or challenge. Whatever occurred in the past, you were able to push through. By recognizing this, you will feel more empowered, as you strive to cope with your current, temporary difficulty
- Act. To overcome difficult circumstances, we often need to take difficult action. Even if it's a very tiny step, it can be pivotal in allowing you to move forward. Your problems may seem more challenging than those of other people. In reality, however, ordinary people rise above difficult circumstances every single day. They dust themselves off and continue moving forward. By recognizing that you are not alone when it comes to dealing with life's problems, you can inspire yourself to get up and continue on.
- Take care of yourself. Significant emotional pain can lead people to neglect eating, sleeping or exercising. Your mind and body cannot effectively cope with difficult times if they are deprived. Give yourself the best chance at recovery by prioritizing sleep, eating regular meals and getting plenty of exercise. No matter how difficult it may be to motivate yourself, you can ease the path toward resilience by empowering your body and mind.
Are you or is someone you know going through difficult times? Our caring therapists can help, contact us today!