Resilience - What is it?
Posted on 3rd December 2020
In a world that is uncertain and changing quickly we can find ourselves in the midst of difficult times. Whether it is emotional difficulties, relationship issues, financial or health worries there is usually something in life that can feel challenging or hard to get through. It is often with hindsight that we see how strong we are able to be when all can seem hopeless. We all admire and would wish upon ourselves the resilience and strength of character to breeze through hard times unfazed. It is, however, the test of challenging situations that enables us to build the resilience that we desire.
By going through various difficulties in life we learn lessons from them and gain a new kind of strength and often wisdom. Resilience is well earned and something to be proud of and we are all capable of cultivating it. To be aware of this can be of great benefit and comfort and can bring about hope when it seems like there is none. Personal growth and inner strength can be found in the toughest of times and it can be used as a light at the end of a tunnel.
Being resilient can make you adaptable and gives you the ability to view these situations in a more positive light. Changing your mindset and turning a negative situation into a learning experience builds resilience and can make a real difference in your emotional wellbeing. This could also have very positive effects in the way you live your life as you approach challenges with a win or learn attitude you can remove the unhelpful term of ‘failing’.
There are 3 key factors that are important and linked to resilience.
Acknowledging that all human beings are fallible. We make mistakes and are not always perfect and that this is ok.
We can quickly become involved in rage and become out of control and this never helps a situation. When the amygdala triggers an emotional response, it can become difficult to think clearly and make the best decision in the moment. It can be helpful to remember that this is a natural response and the best course of action is to be mindful and try to focus on the breath, allowing the thinking brain to overcome the anger and aid you in rationally approaching the situation.
Change Your Negative Thoughts
People can have the tendency to catastrophise and think mainly in black or white with thoughts such as ‘this always happens to me’ and ‘I am the worst at this’.
People often deal with stressful times in different ways. Some seem to find it easier to remain calm whereas others seem to find challenging times especially difficult. A lot of this suffering is based in resistance. When we suffer, we devote a lot of time and energy in resisting and fighting the negative emotions that can arise from difficult situations. We tell ourselves that this should not be happening to us and wish that things were different. It is very important to let go of the things that you have no control over. This resistance to something that is going to happen and often cannot be changed creates yet more suffering.
A helpful technique can be to review your day. At the end of the day ask yourself:
What was good?
How did I do well?
What could I improve in how I react to things?
What do I need to do to be the best version of myself?
You can then start planning maybe a small step that you can take each day towards a life that you want. Proving to yourself that although times can be hard you are able to weather the storm and build resilience!
We can have expectations in life. We have in our minds a version of how we want things to go and how we expect others to behave however, life seems to just happen around us and can drastically change our plans! This can lead to resentment and disappointment. It is helpful to be mindful of these feelings and to realise that things will not always go our way, but it is how we deal with this that counts. Less resistance means less suffering.
Resilience can be a bridge from anxiety and troubles to a better life, perhaps even the life of your dreams.
If you would like to learn how to become more resilient you can join me on one of my Resilience Online Workshops.
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