Monday, March 2, 2015

8 Ways to an Emotionally Stronger You - Resilience

When we go through difficult situations, resilience is the quality that helps us learn from adversity and move on. It is an opportunity for self discovery. We change and adapt to the new situations emerging stronger and wiser. I cannot stress enough the wiser part! Those of us who on occasions experience anxiety can benefit from increasing resilience.

But how do we build resilience? Here are a few ways that increase it while reducing anxiety.

1. Accepting the problem. There is nothing we can do about what happened. Accept this in order to be able to accept change.

2. Connecting with others. Gain support and encouragement from loved ones. Be active in civic organizations. It has been shown that assisting others in time of need can result in higher levels of well being to the helper. So why not give this a try? It may be a bit of a cliche but we do help ourselves by helping others.

3. Working on the situations you have control over. You cannot change what happened. Focus on what you CAN change.

4. Hoping. Keep an optimistic mindset. Meditation or Religion can be great allies. Trust in your ability to solve problems. I wrote about this in the previous What is Resilience post.

5. Nurturing yourself. Physically and mentally. Take care of yourself in order to be able to deal with the problem.
Self esteem is crucial to the "bring it on" mentality I mentioned in the previous post about resilience. Seek professional help if you think you need it. Pay attention to your own needs and do things that you enjoy.

6. Try to see things in perspective. Some times we are dealing with pretty serious stuff but making changes in our outlook on things can really help. What matters, in spite of what happened, is how you respond to it. Positive thinking is an exercise that we can all benefit from. Try focusing on the future, looking beyond, past the problem and seeing it as if you have already overcome it or managed to adapt to it. You will see it as part of life.

7. Perseverance. Keep trying. Baby steps every day will end up in results.

8. Finding meaning. It may take some thinking or professional help but totally worth it!  Viktor Frankl's book: Man's Search For Meaning is an excellent example of resilience. This is a great book if you are interested. He was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who was taken to a concentration camp for 3 years during the war. After this traumatic experience he went back to Vienna where he developed Logotherapy, a theory stating that we have to look for meaning in life in order to overcome adversity.

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