2018-10-10 / Editorial

CHOOSING A LIFE OF RESILIENCE

Martha Chalker

Resilience is the quality that allows some people to be knocked down in life and come back stronger than ever. Instead of letting failure overcome them, they find a way to get back up and move on. Some people may be naturally blessed with some of the traits that allow them to bounce back, however many us may want to learn how to work on strengthening this characteristic in ourselves. Resilient folks usually have a positive attitude, are optimistic and have the ability to regulate emotions. They are able to see failure as a form of helpful feedback and believe the experience actually teaches you something.

It’s okay to realize you don’t always have to do everything perfectly. Resilience is about never, ever giving up! Building resilience is good for our mental health because it helps us recover and work through challenges in a positive way. Practicing resilience can protect against mental issues, help one recover from illness faster, contribute to a happier self and healthier relationships with others.

According to the web site verywell mind, there are ten ways you can work on improving your resilience:

1. Find a sense of purpose in your life. They use the example of Candace Lightner who founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Her 13-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver who was out on bail for another hit and run drunk driving accident. Upset by the driver’s light sentence, she decided to focus her energy on creating awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

2. Develop a strong social network. It’s important to have people you can confide in. Having people around you who are supportive and understanding can also serve as a protective factor during times of crisis.

3. Embrace change. Resilient people often utilize challenging events as the opportunity to branch out in new directions. Practicing the ability to adapt and thrive will help you strengthen your own resilience.

4. Be optimistic. This may be very difficult, but it’s so important to remain hopeful and positive about a brighter future. Staying optimistic doesn’t mean ignoring the problem. It means understanding that setbacks are temporary and that you have the skills to combat the challenges you face.

5. Nurture yourself. This one’s hard for people not facing a crisis as well. Focus on building self – nurturance skills, even when you don’t feel like it. Make time for activities you enjoy. When you’re upset or stressed it’s all too easy to neglect your own needs. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercise and not getting enough sleep are all common reactions to a crisis. Be mindful; by taking care of your own needs, you will boost your overall health and resilience.

6. Build positive beliefs in your abilities. Research has demonstrated that self-esteem plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. Practice positive thinking and self talk to keep you motivated in moving forward.

7. Develop your problemsolving skills. Whenever you encounter a new challenge, make a list of the potential ways you could solve the problem. By practicing those skills on a regular basis, you will be better prepared to cope when a serious challenge emerges.

8. Establish goals. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to assess exactly what you’re dealing with. Try brainstorming possible solutions and then break them down into manageable steps.

9. Take actions to solve problems. Simply waiting for a problem to go away only prolongs the crisis. Take one step at a time. Actively working on solutions, rather than sitting back and letting life happen to you, will help you feel more in control.

10. Keep working on your skills. Resilience may take time to build, so don’t get discouraged if you still struggle while coping with problematic events. Everyone can learn to be resilient. Just keep on keeping on and never, ever give up.

Martha Chalker is a life and business coach with more than twenty years experience. She can be reached at 706-564- 4458.

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