Resilience is not to be mistaken for simply being seen to act tough or to pretend everything is fine when it’s not: it’s about having the inner resources to be able to assess a situation, look at what is needed and take appropriate positive action. It is possible to increase your resilience by making subtle changes to your life, your relationships and your thought patterns:
- Make connections! It is a common mistake that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important, so try to accept help and support from those who care about you. Be aware of the people in your life who listen well, or who can give practical help: and then turn to them if and when you need to.
- Think about what you can do, not what you can’t. Accepting the situations that cannot be changed can help you focus on the situations that can.
- Embrace change. People who embrace change are more likely to be successful as they do not spend energy fighting what is going on around them to keep their environment stable. Try to focus on how future circumstances may be a little better and accept that change is an inevitable part of living.
- Move towards your goals. Instead of focusing on tasks that seem unattainable, ask yourself, “What’s one thing I know I can get done today that helps me move in the direction I want to go?” When you have established this, take positive steps rather than trying to ignore problems and stresses and wishing they would go away.
- Look for opportunities for self-discovery. You can often learn something about yourself and discover that you have grown in some respect as a result of a struggle. Seeing yourself overcome hardship can help you to nurture a positive view of yourself. Make the effort to develop confidence in your ability to solve problems and trust your instincts. This can ultimately help to build resilience.
- Maintain a positive outlook. Being optimistic enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life. If you have a goal in mind, try visualising what it is that you want and not worrying about what you fear. Positive thinking can have a real impact on your view of yourself and the world.
- Remember to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Think about the ways in which you can take the time to pay attention to your own needs and feelings, and start to put some of your ideas into practice. It might be that you enjoy a relaxing bath at the end of a stressful week, or a long walk to give you time to think. Work out what feels good for you and make the time to do it. And don’t forget, taking regular exercise, staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet will help keep your mind and body ready to deal with situations that require resilience.