Resilience……….Why do some people bounce back from adversity and misfortune? Why do others seem to struggle more?
Resilience can be defined as our ability to bounce back from and cope in the face of adversity. If we are resilient, we are more able to cope with lives up and downs. Building resilience is something that we can improve and the benefits are far reaching. I believe that an element of failing can build upon our internal resources and strength. We can learn from this stand point and get in touch with skills and resources to support and empower ourselves. Some of us are born with more resilience than others, however by becoming adept at reframing negative experiences, and how we view change, are great steps to take towards building resilience.
So how do we build it?
Notice the positives
Each time we make efforts to face and overcome challenges, and prevail; we build our resilience a bit. When I was training at university a tutor once said to me to ‘take the learnings and burn the crap”. She was right. Resilient people learn to see the ‘silver linings’ within difficult and even the most challenging of circumstances. They are more flexible and able to roll with life’s punches. That said, it’s not about denying other feelings, rather learning to allow them to sit side by side and notice the positives with gratitude.
Gratitude can offer perspective in difficult times
Sometimes we can all feel overwhelmed and defeated by lifes’ challenges. Although this feels hard for us, there is an opportunity for growing even greater resilience. The more you are able to leverage challenges as opportunities to grow and evolve, the more resilient you will become. Learning to see the lightness and growth in these experiences will support you when building resilience.
Resilience can be built.
Take the learnings and burn the crap
To return to my tutor, her focus leaned strongly towards solutions and outcome. This is how I learnt the importance of asking myself the right questions. Open, useful and non-Judgemental questions, for example what are my choices? How can I move forward? rather than who’s to blame. In essence, I have developed and learnt to think in a more expansive way. Sometimes this involves stepping backwards before propelling forward. I have learnt and am still learning, to look at difficult experiences as chances to problem solve, learn and grow. I chose to be in and learn from being in pain, rather than run from it.
Self care self care and self care again
It can be easy to separate our mental and physical health’s if they are two separate entities. I believe that they co- exist and by building one, the other comes along and vice versa. Good health, supported by a regular routine of healthy habits are the cornerstone of both mental and emotional resilience. It is important to nurture ways to relax, this could be mediation/mindfulness for example. We can actually change the wiring in our brains so that we become less reactive and more open to healthy processing of emotional stress. Regular relaxation and self care will help lower stress chemicals like cortisol, therefore, reducing the likelihood of feeling, or becoming, overwhelmed and reactive.