Have you ever noticed how some people are more resilient than others? They can bounce back from life’s disappointments (relationship challenges, financial problems, emotional issues or health problems) while others are down for the count. The difference is how they cope with difficulties when they hit especially out of the blue. The wonderful thing about resiliency is it is a learned behaviour, not an inherited gene.
Here are they key behaviours that resilient people put into practice to help them bounce back:
1. Stay Connected
Friendship is important to stabilize our mental health. Whether you need to connect, reconnect or become connected to a great group of supportive friends it is essential to your ability to withstand difficulties. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with a few close friends and continue to be a support group to each other.
2. Embrace Structure
I find that people struggle with this one the most as our society glorifies spontaneity and individuality. You can still be a spontaneous individual and have structure in your life. Moving your life into a more predictable daily pattern will help you stabilize quicker. Research has shown that the sooner people return to work after a tragedy the quicker they return to health. Finding your own daily pattern of when you eat, go to work, take your breaks, etc. will result in a more peaceful existence.
3. Find Meaning in your Life
Stress has a way of claiming our life and become our sole focus. It eats away at our soul and stops us from moving forward. It can also turn into depression or trigger higher anxiety. Spend your days engaging in what is meaningful to you – people you care about, work that matters to you, working out, eating great meals and engaging in fun activities.
4. Let Go of Guilt
Guilt is a great guide to help us navigate our world and stick to our beliefs. But it can get out of wack and we end up taking 100% of the blame for things when we probably are only responsible for about 5%. It is important to accept responsibility for the mistakes we make and apologize and make amends for it. When it is disproportionate to the actual event, it becomes a negative that drags us down without any relief. Becoming more balanced with your responsibility and practicing forgiveness will help move your guilt back into a reliable guide for your life.
Resilience can help you quickly begin feeling, thinking and acting in like yourself again. Sometimes people need help to get back on track when their resilience has been squashed for a long time. If that is where you are, we are here to help.
Trish Pauls, MA RP