The Importance of Resilience

There is no better time than now, for a discussion on resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover from adversity, or to rebound after some traumatic event. You can learn to be happy after experiencing hardship. In fact, it is better for your health to learn and practice resilience in these challenging times. The COVID-19 pandemic, unrest, illness, injury, death, loss of jobs, financial distress, divorce and moving are all big stressors. We need to learn to cope with distress or the consequences can be dire. According to the “American Psychological Association, stress can cause muscle tension, breathing problems, heart problems (which can lead to heart attack or stroke), blood sugar spikes, heartburn, acid reflux, digestion problems, and problems to both the female and male reproductive systems. Other physical symptoms of stress include fatigue, sleep problems, and headaches (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2016).”

We all have problems and struggle is a part of life. How we deal with adversity makes the difference of whether we can recover and be happy again. Some people seem to bounce back faster after dealing with a crisis or adversity.

 “Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before. You can fight it, you can do nothing but scream about what you’ve lost, or you can accept that and try to put together something that’s good.”
― Elizabeth Edwards

You can learn how to become more resilient. People normally dwell on the negative and the network news has a tendency to push negative stories because that is what our minds are wired to hear. We can fight this by rewiring our brains to focus more on the positive and what is good in the world. Amit Sood, a researcher and creator of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Resilient Mind program, “ has found that joy is often not defined by your circumstances but by how you deal with problems and challenges.” A good example of this is when you see wealthy people who are unhappy or children living in poverty who appear to be happy.

Overcoming your worries and anxiety by consciously working on this can help you live a happier, and more fulfilling life.

Here are some techniques to help build your resilience:

  • Have a vision of how you would like your life to be.
  • Define your purpose based on what is important to you.
  • Set goals and prioritize them.
  • Take control and focus on getting things done.
  • Learn how to manage your emotions.
  • Take action to reduce stress, practice mindfulness and meditation.
  • Look for opportunities in change and embrace it.
  • Seek out the good in a difficult situation.
  • Keep your brain engaged and be excited to go to the next level.
  • Become resourceful and more creative.
  • Brainstorm and try different approaches to solve problems.
  • Be persistent when working on what you wish to accomplish.
  • Become a realistic optimist.
  • Be flexible but also disciplined.
  • Invest in your social skills, be a person with integrity.
  • Develop a social support network.
  • Listen to and be supportive of others.
  • Take care of your body through healthy eating, exercise and good sleep.
  • Have something to look forward to.
  • Do not give up no matter how tough it gets.
  • Seek help when you need it.

Hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to comment on what has worked for you when dealing with adversity.