Resilience is the process of effectively coping with adversity - it's about bouncing back from difficulties. The great thing about resilience is that it's not a personality trait: it involves a way of paying attention, thinking, and behaving that anyone can learn.
Here are five ways to build resilience:
- Nurture relationships. Have a range of positive, supportive connections within and outside your family. If you don't, take steps to improve the situation. Join a club, local group, volunteer group, or an evening class.
- Find meaning in difficulties. When faced with adversity, see if you can discover some positive way in which you can deal with the challenge. People often report improved relationships, greater consciousness, or appreciation of life in the face of great difficulties.
- Be optimistic. Try to shift your negative thoughts to more positive ones about the future. Hope and optimism are a choice. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable. You can't change the fact that very stressful events happen, but you can learn to change your response to them. The tiniest of changes counts.
- Be decisive. Make decisions and take action rather than hoping things will get better one day. If you're not good at this, read about how to improve this skill or ask a trusted friend to help. Not making a decision is in itself a decision.
- Accept that change is part of living. Expect things to change and adversity to occur, rather than pretend all will always be well. Change is part of life. Your goal is to cope effectively rather than avoid loss or pain.
When it comes to resilience, flexibility is important. Discovering ways to adapt to the changes that life throws at you makes you more able to cope. What simple action can you take to begin increasing your resilience?