*Hello! Thank you for your tolerance. English is not my first language, but practicing really helps*
Resilience is adapting and responding positively to stress and misfortune. In other terms, resilience could be considered as our ability to grow and learn from our challenges. Everyone can learn and build resilience, even someone who suffers regularly with depression. Small changes in our daily routine can lead to huge benefits in our overall wellbeing.
Life is full of challenges and stressful situations. They happen to everyone. How we react to these situations is what makes the difference between resilient people and others. How do you react when things don’t unfold the way you expected? In these cases, if the outcomes are “bad”, most people become stressed and anxious. Without self-awareness, the response to that stress could be complaining, developing bad eating habits, difficulty to sleep, etc. Such responses are disempowering. The truth is that life rarely fully unfolds the way we would have liked it to. However, it is behind this “misfortune” that treasures are often hidden. We could refer these treasures as Life Lessons. This is when, for instance, one person starts pursuing his dreams after being fired; or when another person suffering from depression educates him/herself on the subject, begins to efficiently tackle this situation and end up as a highly skilled professional in depression recovery. It might sound like a far-fetched story, but the world is full of this kind of inspiring examples. This is what resilience can do for people. But how do we build this skill?
1- Personal Assessment
To begin with, a personal assessment is very important. You have to identify and leverage your strengths. Using your personal strengths to deal with issues is something empowering, and self-reinforcing. The confidence we gain in this process is priceless. Along with that, you could acknowledge your weaknesses, in order to work on them. If you have difficulties figuring out your strengths and weaknesses (as I did), don’t hesitate to ask your friends and loved ones.
2 – Meditation
Try practicing 5-15 minutes of meditation everyday. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Let go of any thoughts which arise. Acknowledge them and come back to your breathing. Meditation could be a bit difficult at the beginning. But the more you practice, the better you’ll get. So don’t worry. Moreover, there are plenty of guided meditations that you could find online. I’ve found guided meditations really helpful when I was a beginner.
Gratitude is another powerful ingredient to build resilience. In moments of stress, we easily forget what we have and take it for granted. Be mindful of your blessings. Be grateful for the air you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat and so on. It actually reprograms your brain to think positively, and positive thoughts attract positive events. You can even start a gratitude journal. The process is actually pretty simple. At the end of the day, you write down all the positive things which happened to you throughout the day. Oh, it doesn’t need to be extraordinary. It could be a beautiful rainbow you’ve seen, birds chanting, a funny story, etc.
Start exercising. The benefits of physical activity are countless. Physical activities help us to balance our level of serotonin and dopamine, thus contributing to a better mood. No need to mention how important a good mood is, when we have to cope with challenges. Don’t tell me you don’t like exercising. The choice is SO vast. Educate yourself on the subject, and choose what suits you best.
5- Yoga | Qigong
Chances are, you already know a few things about Yoga since it’s kinda trendy at the moment. Qigong on the other hand is less widespread. Qigong is a holistic system of coordinated body posture and movement, breathing and meditation used in the belief that it promotes health, spirituality and martial arts training. It’s popularity is on the rise. At the end of this post, you’ll find a link to an article that I’ve found pretty informative about this topic.
So, building resilience is a journey. Like any other skill, it requires time and consistency. You have everything you need to be successful in this journey. And in this endless self-improvement process, endless blessings will come your way.
Cultivating Resilience |Greg Eells |TEDxCortland