In psychology, resilience is the process of adapting to situations of adversity, trauma, and crises. I like to describe resilience as ‘withstanding’ difficult times and growing from them.
Being resilient is essential for ourselves and for others. When we are resilient, we can also support others through a challenging time.
Can anyone develop resilience or is it an inherent trait?
You’ll be glad to know that resilience is a quality that anyone can embody with some effort. Forming resilience has to do with cultivating the right mindset and taking action. The more you practice being resilient, the more it becomes part of your nature. And you’ll find that you’re more confident because you know that you can manage any challenge life gives to you.
It’s helpful to remember that resilient people do feel unpleasant emotions. However, the key lies in the way they manage their emotions and the events that create them.
Let’s explore ways that you can develop a resilient mindset to help you through unexpected personal challenges.
Start with self-care
Being resilient is possible only when you know and believe that you’re capable of it. And to develop that sense, you can start by carrying out self-care.
Reading, journaling, saying ‘No’ when you need to, having healthy habits and more are ways to look after yourself.
When you feel better, it’s easier to feel confident and resilient.
Keep a ‘Hot-Stove Rule’ for Managing Emotions
There’s a well-known analogy about how touching a hot stove once ensures that we never do that again. The lesson is that once we’re hurt, we don’t repeat the action that causes it. We can also apply this rule to managing our emotions.
When we face a challenge, we immediately have some negative thoughts and feelings. They serve to tell us that something’s not right and we need to find a solution or avoid the same event in the future. This is a powerful survival mechanism that helps us learn and grow.
However, people tend to revisit the unpleasant thoughts over and over again long after the challenge has passed.
Continuing to dwell on negative events and thoughts is like keeping your finger on the stove. Instead, you need to tend to feelings by examining them. It’s also healthy and proactive to talk to a friend or therapist to help you manage your feelings.
Learn about Locus of Control
People who are resilient tend to have an internal locus of control (LOC). This is a psychological concept where a person believes that they have the ability to impact their own life. Opposed to this the external locus of control. People who have external loci of control believe that they have no impact on their life and everything that happens to them is because of outside factors.
While you can’t shape everything in your life, you can always control your attitude. You can build resilience by acknowledging and exercising your own role in influencing your life. Being hopeful, kind, optimistic, and positive are examples of internal locus beliefs.
We’ve seen many examples of people exercising an internal locus of control during the pandemic. People who were affected turned to other ways to support themselves. Brick-and-mortar store owners had to make changes and grow their businesses to keep serving customers. Others have learned new skills or proactively made lifestyle changes.
To become more resilient you have to acknowledge that your actions do have an impact on your life. And from this point of view, you’ll start to take positive steps and make changes.
Reframing your thoughts and beliefs is one of the most powerful tools available to you. It will help you unleash your creativity and problem-solving abilities by looking at issues in a new way.
Here are the different ways you can reframe your thoughts:
- How can you find a silver, or even a golden, lining in your current situation?
- What opportunities does your new situation provide?
- Write down your experiences and thoughts in a journal. Then examine them later. When you reread what you wrote, you’ll gain some distance from your thoughts and can look at things differently
Reframing your thoughts is important as it impacts the way you feel. When you harness your emotional intelligence in this way, you’ll not just improve your mental health, you’ll also take effective action that builds resilience.
Develop A Network
People who are resilient often have a strong connection to other inspiring models. These include parental figures, teachers, or mentors. Resilient people also read books about strong personalities in history or current times. They also listen to podcasts and keep modeling themselves after people they admire.
One practical step you can take is to join others in building resilience. You can join habit-changing groups, productivity networks, and find mentors in any area you want to grow.
Today, It’s easy to find support groups online and memberships for specific professions and experiences.
Consider joining such a group to create a network of support during trying times. You’ll find sympathy, read advice, and support from others that will create long-lasting resilience.
There are many ways that you may be challenged right now. You need to have the resilience to get through this and future periods of difficulty.
We’ve looked at several ways that you can boost your resilience. These suggestions here all work together to help you maintain a strong mindset. Try to apply them to your life and you’ll find yourself becoming stronger over time.