Are you born resilient, or can you learn to become resilient?
Like everything in life, if you practice it you’ll get better at it.
And, resilience is no different.
Most of us know people who in the face of incredible adversity appear remarkably calm and in control. Or those people who after experiencing something really sad are able to quickly bounce back, reframe what has happened in a way that makes it easier for them to accept, and move on.
Resilience is a very powerful characteristic. It’s the ability to withstand stress and adversity. Being resilient doesn’t mean you ignore how you feel or that you don’t experience stress, sadness or hurt. It’s about how you respond to it. Do you let it over-whelm you? Does it consume every waking thought and action?
People who are resilient have a way of recognising the issue, reframing what it means and so adapting to the changed circumstances.
In today’s ever changing world, resilience is a really important skill to have in your toolkit. None of us can change the pace of change. So we need to be equipped to face it, and thrive through it.
The famous Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, understood the power of resilience and that we all have a choice to make about how we respond to events:
“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment”.
The good news is that there are actions that you can take every day to help you become more resilient.
How resilient you are will depend on three factors:
- How you think – your mindset
- What you do – the actions you take
- Where you focus – what you pay attention to
Here are some tips that you can put into practice every day:
- Practice mindfulness – taking the time to stop, breath, reflect and then respond to an event helps ensure that your actions are more mindful, and less reactive
- Identify tools you can use to help you make decisions – when you are faced with an unwelcome situation work through the options and what decisions you can and can’t make. Feeling like you have a choice as to your response gives you fortitude
- Adopt a gratitude mantra – expressing gratitude is scientifically proven to help you feel happier and it works with resilience too
- Help others – helping others in need helps you realise the positive forces in your life, that others may not have
- Be curious and have an open mind – investigating issues through multiple lenses helps you see things from multiple perspective. This, in turn, helps you realise that your negative view of the event may not be the reality
- Strive to find purpose and meaning in your life – people with purpose are generally happier and more resilient as they are clear about their goals and where they are heading in life
- Maintain strong connections with friends and family – sharing how you feel, talking to people and being open about experiences is healthy and very good for the soul
- Manage stress – practicing mindfulness will help, as will exercising often, eating well, meditating and laughing lots
- Learn from your mistakes – viewing mistakes as an opportunity to experiment, learn and grow, rather than viewing them as a failure
- Silence your inner voice – all of us have an inner voice that can be an unharnessed critic. Silence the negative talk, and be reflective and open to new ideas
Change happens, so make it work for you.
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