We face all kinds of adversity in life. This may be a personal crisis, like an illness, a loss of a loved one, an abusive relationship or challenges in the workplace like bullying, job loss, and financial instability. We also have the shared reality of tragic events in the news, such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, war and of course the global pandemic of recent years. People have to learn to cope with and work through very challenging life experiences.
Resilience is quite a buzz word. What does it exactly mean and is it different for different people? Let’s actually start with what it is not. Being resilient does not mean that people don’t experience stress, emotional upheaval, and suffering.
Resilience is your ability to withstand adversity and bounce back. It is your ability to grow and develop despite and through life’s challenges. It is your ability to work through difficulties and emotional pain.
The good news is that resilience can be learned. And it’s not about learning how to “grin and bare it” or to simply “get over it.” Nor is it learning to avoid obstacles or resist change.
Being resilient does require a skill set that you can develop and as a result you can grow overtime. Building resilience takes time, strength, and a good network around you. The difference with resilience can be the combination of communication skills, self-worth and external things like social support and resources available to you.
It is important to say that being resilience is not constant. You may demonstrate a lot of resilience with one challenge but struggle more with another stressful situation. It is also key to have no judgement about this. Sometimes you can dig deep and other times you feel overwhelmed and truly stuck. Resilience isn’t something you tap into only during overwhelming moments of adversity. It builds as you encounter all kinds of stressors ‘every day’.
Resilient people do experience stress, setbacks, and difficult emotions, but they tap into their strengths and seek help from support systems to overcome challenges and work through problems. Resilience empowers them to accept and adapt to a situation and move forward. It involves a combination of inner strengths and outer resources.
Skills that help to be more resilient are adaptability, flexibility and perseverance. We can also find inner strength from forgiveness, both with yourself and others. By changing certain thoughts and behaviours, we can find that inner peace we all want. Building resilience comes from being able to reframe a thought or situation. This means to view from a different perspective, which is less damaging or unhelpful. It also means that you are tapping into your strengths to overcome obstacles.
Alison Has 6 Steps To Help You Build Up Your Resilience:
- Develop Self-Awareness: Work on understanding your stress triggers and particularly look out for negative self-talk and behaviours that limit your potential.
- Know Your Strengths: You will feel more capable and confident when you can identify and draw on your talents and strengths. This usually means you are being yourself too which is critical.
- Manage Your Emotions: Learn stress-reduction techniques, such as breathing and mindfulness exercises, which will help you regulate your emotions. Practice being in the moment.
- Check Negative Thoughts: Try and capture negative thoughts which are damaging to you and your self-esteem. You can be so hard on yourself and getting out of this habit is vital. Try journaling and reframing thoughts to find a new perspective.
- Increase Optimism: To build optimism, focus on what you can do when faced with a challenge, and identify positive, problem-solving steps that you can take.
- Strengthen Connections: Support systems can play a vital role in resilience. Bolster your existing social connections and find opportunities to build new ones.
Resilience Is Not A Permanent State
Building resilience is a process like going to the gym to get fit. It doesn’t happen overnight; it takes persistence and repetition. Getting your own tool kit of strategies that works for you is important. One size doesn’t fit all and the actual secret to building resilience and keeping it, is to take any internal pressure of yourself, be kind and have fun!
About The Author
Alison Blackler is an experienced Mind Coach and Therapist, Public Speaker and Published Author. She had an extensive career in the NHS for 24 years, before starting her own business in 2010 called 2minds.
Alison works with individuals, teams and leaders bringing the neuroscience to life in the sessions. She believes that having an understanding of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours gives an opportunity to make changes. Alison’s own personal journey is an integral part of her work as she has lived and breathed many changes and through her training and experiences, she has developed a unique and relatable message.
She enjoys working alongside business leaders and managers to change culture and create true engagement. She has a natural empathetic approach to challenges and is a skilled listener.
She is a published author of a series of psychology-based self-help books – A Path Travelled. In this series, she has published A Journal designed to help build up resilience – check it out on Amazon. In May 2023, she is launching a brand-new podcast “Mental Wealth – invest in your mind” – watch this space!
You can check out her website www.2-minds.co.uk or follow on Instagram @alison2minds
Link for other ways of dealing with stress: https://www.everydayhealth.com/stress/guide/