In order to live a happy life, one of the main ingredients is building and maintaining resilience. To define it, resilience is the ability to bounce back from a crises or turmoil. Most importantly, it is something that can be learned.
Here are five skills to get you started in building resilience:
Changing Perspective - When in a crisis, our perception is clouded by present events to the point where we cannot see the problem ever being resolved. Thinking of an event as a never-ending crisis will discourage us to do something about it. It is important to remind ourselves of positive affirmations such as "this too shall pass.”
Identify Your Strengths - We focus so much on what we don’t have that we forget all the strengths and tools we have to make it through. We focus on what is going wrong more often than what is going right. During a crisis, focus on your strengths and rely on them to help you through the experience. So take the time to ask yourself “What do I have that can help me in this situation?” For instance, if you are friendly and/or creative, you can use your strengths to come up with a game plan and ask for help.
Seek Support from Others - This is about finding a shoulder to cry on. Well you do not necessarily have to cry, but you will find it helpful to reach out to a friend or family member to talk to and seek support. At times of hardship, we often feel alone and stuck. A supportive friend or family member can help us feel less alone and give us new perspective to solving our problem. You may find out that someone else already dealt with a similar issue and can give you insight on how to cope with your current stressor.
Visualize Yourself Conquering the Struggles – The power of visualization and mediation is that our brain fires the same way when we are visualizing an activity vs. actually engaging in that activity. Once you start visualizing yourself resolving, moving on or simply facing the issue at hand, you can elicit feelings of hope, strength and empowerment. You may find that these pleasant emotions or thoughts will open your mind to new solutions that you did not think of before.
Take Care of Yourself – Last but not least, find activities that can help you, take care of you! Go for a walk at your favorite park, listen to your favorite band or paint. Engage in your hobbies to help ground yourself. Healthy nutrition, exercise and sleep are important to daily life and are fundamental in maintaining our sense of stability.