How to Be More Resilient


According to Dr. Russ Newman, “research has shown that resilience is not an extraordinary thing but is rather ordinary and can be learned by most anyone”.

Relience. The dictionary define resilience as The ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy. Resilience is what allows you to maintain a sense of well-being when you deal with the challenge.We have all been through those rough times. The truth is you really don’t know what someone is made of until you see them in the rough times. Anyone can be a great person when things are good and life is easy. And anyone can fake emotionaly stability when the waters are smooth. See someone is rough waters, see them at their worst if you really want to know them.

In the past I have been very resilient, able to get through rough times in a single bound. However, the last six months have been a challenge.  When rough times happen, here are some things that help keep your head above water and keep you reslient. Being the research loving person I am, I set out to find the best advice the internet had to offer. and now, I bring it to you. You are welcome.

Take care of yourself:

This one is a hard one for me. Unfortunately sitting at home eating abundant amounts of chocolate and watching B movies does not count as taking care of yourself. who knew?

When we are stressed and going through a rough time, it’s easy to loose sleep, stop exercising and start eating badly. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, those who are physically well are more emotionally equipped to handle stress. So we cannot forget to take care of ourselves. Slow down, spend some time alone, listen to music, take a walk. Exercise releases endorphins into the your body and helps to lift the spirits.

Getting a hobby (or three) is also recommended. Whatever makes you feel happy, fulfilled or gives you a sense of purpose and utilizes your talents. I am getting into crocheting and photography.  These are hobbies that I enjoy and for which I have a talent (well, we’ll see about crocheting…). Taking a class or joining a social group will also help you meet new people and get your mind off of your troubles.

Maintain a sense of control:

This one is oh so important, at least to me. Generally, resilient people tend to have what psychologists call an internal locus of control. Know that you have within yourself all that you need to make decisions that are important to your life. Look deep inside yourself and listen to that little voice inside of you, your gut instict. All that you need to get through, is right there.

When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by a situation, take a step back to simply assess what’s in front of you. Think about possible solutions, break them down into steps and take baby steps. Martin Seligman, Positive psychology maven, says that a component of resilience is pervasiveness—not allowing a setback in one area to affect another. So keeping it together is a way to maintain control. This means, especially for women, to keep it together at work. Or al least close the door if you are going to get emotional. Never let them see you sweat, or cry.  At least go to the bathroom if you don’t have an office.

problem-solving skills and critical thinking are also shown the help keep a person centered and resilient. Research suggests that people who are able come up with solutions to a problem are better able to cope.   These skills are also key to  self-esteem, which also plays an important role in coping with stress and recovering from difficult events. 
 
Strong social connections:
Friends can help you through the rough spots. According tot he Mayo clinic,  being able to reach out to others for support is a key component of being resilient.  Those who have an broad support system recover faster from challenges in life. This has been a bit of a challenge for me, as I cut about 90% of my social group in the last year. But the people I have left in my life are solid, loyal and have integrity – and that is worth it’s weight in gold.
 
Sharing your problems with friends can help lighten the emotional load as we bounce solutions off our friends, get positive feedback or get out of the house and get our minds off of the problem.
 
See yourself as a Survivor:
You can’t really feel that locus of control unless you feel power to take action. You need to almost immediately feel that you have used your strength to survive something bad.  Then tap into that strength to get through the emotional aftermath. Never see yourself as a victim because you loose your sense of control and purpose. You are a survivor, you have strength and courage. Look for ways to solve the problem, or deal with it in the best way possible. Always take the high road and always maintian a level of class. Hold your head up high and know you can and will get through it. While the situation may be unavoidable, you can still stay focused on a positive outcome.
 
Embrace Change:
This is a tough one for a lot of people, including me.  I like things steady and predictable, but flexibility is an essential part of resilience.  Why not see these events and challenges as opportunities to branch out in new direscitons?  Learn something more about yourself, your charactor and your depth as a human being.  Yes, I am workin gon this too.
 
How exactly do you adapt to change if you are like me and would rather have a root canal?  Psychologists say that people who see change as a challenge and not a threat handle streeses better. In their book The Peace of Mind Prescription, Charney and Nemeroff say, “The hormones released by an appraisal of challenge include growth factors, insulin, and other compounds that promote cell repair, trigger relaxation responses, and stimulate efficient energy use.” 
 
Set Goals:
Goals that focus on your strenghts, things that bring you a sense of happiness, calm, satisfaction and fulfilment will help the most. The goals I have set for myself are to 1. Finish and publish my book by the end of the year. 2. Cook new super yummy meals 3. Finish the Fifty Shades of Grey series (which I am struggling with because I am actually getting board with the story). I am also working on writing better blog enteries, as I don’t feel like the latest entries have been very good.
 
Setting and meeting goals helps with our sense of control and accomplishment during a rough time. It will also boost self esteem.
 
Exercise:
Yes, you read right. Exercise has been correlated with stronger levels of resilience. So while becoming a couch potato and watching TV all night might be tempting, it isn’t very productive. Exercise relases endorphines into the body which has a positive impacts on one’s mood or the physical health benefits to those who exercise, or both.  
 
Have Faith:
If you are a person of faith, it helps to to pray, alot. And just hang in there. Know that the bad times are only temporary. It won’t last and in no time (and a series of babysteps) you will be past it and on to better times.
 
None of us are immune to rough times, and there are times in life that are jusst going to suck. And we just have to reach deep down and get through them. But these little steps will help shorten the time we are in the dark. and when the dust settles, we will be better, finer and stronger than we were before. Basically, finding Peace is what helps me, so do whatever youhave to do to get it. So dig in and get on with it.
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2 thoughts on “How to Be More Resilient

  1. so follow your own advice, I could not have advised you better. You are too young, but if you go back and see videos of Jackie Kennedy after her husband was assasinated, you would see the epitome of class, resilience and a steel strong spine. Blessings on you and yours
    John

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