What is resilience?
Resilience is the capacity to recover from difficulty, getting through painful experiences without letting them overwhelm you (which doesn’t mean you don’t feel overwhelmed at times).
Some people think others are resilient & they are not. In fact, it can be worked on and cultivated within yourself so we all have the ability to build resilience.
For example, it’s about learning to regulate your emotions, or to give hardship a context. Like the ability not to consider yourself a failure because bad things have happened to you, not to take it personally, or to make it global for you, when it may be related to one aspect of your life.
HERE ARE THREE PRACTICAL TIPS FOR RESILIENCE:
- FOCUS ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL
Humans are hard wired to notice threats e.g. how to survive with danger – like if there’s a tiger in your environment. But you may feel surrounded by constant threats at the moment, and the brain treats each one as like a tiger, so your stress response can be dialled up permanently. Many are finding it exhausting.
Resilient people are good at choosing carefully where to focus their attention. It’s about being realistic about your situation, & focusing on what you can control or change, and accepting the things you can’t – it’s a learnable skill. Anything that’s beyond your control, try to let it go. Identify it & let it go.
- ACCEPT THAT HARDSHIP IS PART OF LIFE
Bad things happen & tough times are part of the ebb and flow of life– can you accept that every day won’t be great, sometimes not even good and that – along with your mood – is a realistic way of living?
It’s not about expecting or welcoming negative things, but not over catastrophizing when things don’t go to plan. Sadly, suffering is part of every human existence. Try not to feel discriminated against when tough times come. Try not to say why me. Terrible things happen to everyone.
- ASK YOURSELF IS WHAT I’M DOING HELPING OR HARMING ME?
This is a key question when you are going through hard times – use it over and over – choose your behaviour & actions – but check in and see if what you’re choosing is helpful for you or is it making things harder for you.
Don’t be afraid to reframe thingsduring difficult periods and look for the good or the helpers. During lockdown, it can be about trying to feelsafe in your home rather than feeling trapped. It’s about spending time with your family or partner, rather than feeling stuck with them.