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Resilience: the secret to a stronger, more positive you

25 January 2019

Toned woman climbing rocks with sunglasses on and chalked hands

Losing a job. The passing of a loved one. Or the end of a relationship. Life is filled with many highs… and also many lows. But as the famous saying goes; it’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that really matters.

In other words, it’s all about resilience.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from tough times, overcome adversity – and find the courage to continue. And the best part is, anyone can achieve it.

It’s a behaviour, a blend of thought and action that rests within all of us.

So if you’re struggling to cope in a challenging time, here are four ways to help you become more resilient… and conquer from within.

1. Practise acceptance

Let’s face it, prolonged denial does more harm than good.

It can cause anxiety and prevent you from seeking help. It can also drive you to neglect your emotions entirely – leaving you feeling empty and unsettled.

But through acceptance, you will naturally:

  • Find more compassion for yourself and others
  • Stop negative emotions from consuming you
  • Mature as a person
  • Cope better with current and future hardships

If you’re thinking to yourself, easier said than done, you’re absolutely right. Acceptance takes time, patience – and often the support of a professional.

However, here are some ideas to get you on the right track:

  • Meditating can help you relax your mind and normalise your feelings
  • Confronting your fears, stress or grief will help you recognise what’s true
  • Letting go of control can help you understand that you can’t alter the past
  • Identifying what you can change will help you develop realistic plans moving forward

Remember, when you accept your current situation, you’re not surrendering. Rather, you’re allowing yourself to feel more, free your mind and step closer to greater happiness.

2. Connect and confide

Close relationships with friends and family can boost your resilience.

That’s because the care and affection from loved ones can ease your stress, strengthen your self-worth and lessen your mental load.

Here are some ways you can create a stronger support network:

  • Spend more time with people that make you feel good about yourself
  • Join classes or groups based on your interests to connect with like-minded people
  • Set aside social media and have more face-to-face conversations
  • Try to open up and express yourself to others more often

3. Opt for optimism

Developing a positive outlook brings more than just a smile. It can also:

  • Improve your confidence and problem-solving skills
  • Reduce feelings of helplessness and encourage more constructive actions
  • Reduce the risk of poor health and illness
  • Strengthen your personal relationships
  • Shift you toward more positive thinking

Although it’s not easy, one of the key ways to become more optimistic is to be realistic.

That means putting your troubles into a broader context and identifying pessimistic thoughts that have been blown out of proportion.

Once you uncover what’s unreasonable, you can dispute and correct them with more rational thinking.

4. Take care of yourself

This might sound simple. But during a challenging time, it can be one of the hardest things to do.

Nurturing your mind and body is an investment in yourself. By maintaining your wellbeing, you’ll be able to better cope with stressful situations and build greater resilience in the long run.

Some strategies for self-care include:

  • Snoozing for longer
  • Pursuing your favourite hobbies or interests
  • Taking time away from your phone
  • Exercising regularly
  • Spending more time with loved ones
  • Setting realistic and achievable goals

Need some help on your journey to resilience? The team at Positive Psychology is here for you. Call us on 1300 995 636 today.