Ever wonder how people can go through hell and bounce back to do amazing things with their life? Ever wonder if you could do the same? The answer is a resounding YES!
What you are witnessing is resilience, and you are not born with it, you learn it.
What is Resiliency?
Resiliency is the ability to live through hell and not only get through it, but use it as an opportunity to grow.
In the book The Resiliency Advantage , Al Siebert, PhD wrote “highly resilient people are flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly, and thrive in constant change. Most important, they expect to bounce back and feel confident that they will. They have a knack for creating good luck out of circumstances that many others see as bad luck.”
Resiliency can be learned and is one of the largest factors in handling change successfully.
Read some great examples of resiliency here: 9 People Who Inspire Me to Keep Going
If you are struggling, times of difficulty are excellent times to develop these skills. These enhanced skills will also help you through difficult times in the future.
Even if you are not currently having a hard time, building good coping habits can help you react later, when you need to.
How to Build Resilience
Look through these tips and suggestions and create a plan for yourself. Don’t just work on challenges that are comfortable to you; the most important areas to concentrate are those where you have gaps. This is all about growth and growth requires stretching. Having skills across every category brings you the most strength.
Do a few small tasks every day. Especially if you are at your most vulnerable, do not take on too much too fast. You can build these skills gradually. Daily habits are usually more effective than full-on efforts that burn you out quickly.
1. Focus on Your Health
You cannot be resilient if you are exhausted or in pain.
If you are recuperating or dealing with trauma, your number one priority needs to be your health and your healing. Sleep is paramount and the best healing takes place while you rest. Diet and exercise are also important, but make sure you follow doctors’ orders on both. Appropriate exercise will help you get better, but overdoing it will not help.
Routines and plans can often be helpful to your recovery. Create a daily and weekly schedule of the suggestions your doctors and therapists give you to make sure you eat right, take your medication, rest and exercise. If you can get into a productive routine that reinforces the healing process, it will keep you focused on yourself.
Regardless of the circumstances, you can best learn new skills by starting from a solid foundation of rest, nutrition and exercise. Our minds and spirits will always learn better and be more resilient when our bodies are taken care of.
2. Stay Busy
Sometimes recuperation takes us out of our routine and our work. Too much time on our hands to think and worry can be stressful and depressing. Stay busy, and focus on relaxing and positive activities.
Schedule visits for friends and family, outings if permitted and time to spoil yourself. Make time to do your favorite things and keep your spirits up.
Being busy, with activities that make us feel good and bring rewards, is important. Identify those things. What do you love, what would you love to try? Use every opportunity to try out new things. Look at the things that make you unhappy or that don’t bring you any joy and ask yourself whether you need to continue to do them. The idea is not to be selfish, but to be joyful.
3. Stay Focused
Know where you are going. Life is a journey; even if you happen to be making a pit stop, you will get where you are going, one way or another. If you are determined. So know what you want and don’t take your eye off the prize. This may be a great time to sit back and do some research, maybe read an applicable biography or two. Take a step back and think about how you can use your time to be more proactive towards your dreams.
Don’t be afraid to adjust your dreams. Part of resiliency is adapting. If your original vision and plan isn’t going to work anymore, finding a new one is part of bouncing back. Plenty of people have created a variation of their dreams that would accommodate their new circumstances. Often their new version of themselves far exceeds their original goals. So branch out and explore your options.
4. Reach out
Don’t be afraid to ask for help, either from friends and family or even professional, if appropriate.
It is no surprise to anyone that having friends makes you stronger. Studies show that survival odds increase dramatically if you have close friends. This is a very good time to invest in those friendships, or even make some new ones. That said; try to surround yourself with positive and funny people. Maintaining a positive attitude is important when you are healing, and that is far easier to do with the right influences around.
Find a role model. It is easier to stay motivated when you have someone to look up to. There are many wonderful people in the world who are achieving the things that you want while overcoming overwhelming odds. Find someone who helps inspire you. The best role models are those you know who can provide good advice and guidance when you need it.
5. Help Others
Sometimes the best thing for you is to help others. This may be the time to offer your support to someone else. It always makes you feel good to help others, and you have additional time on your hands, so this is a great time to volunteer to give a friend a hand.
While this is a great time to do nice things for others, do so only if it does not interfere with your healing. You need to put yourself first until you are well enough to have energy to share.
6. Maintain Your Positive Attitude
This is probably the most important part of your recuperation. Your state of mind is critical to your well-being. It is an uphill battle to maintain a positive attitude, when you are not feeling well, but everything will be better if you try.
Maintaining your self-esteem is important. Remember your past successes, you have been through struggles before, and you have overcome it, so you know you can again. Make a list of your attributes and talents; itemize all of the good things you can think of. Focus on these if you begin to doubt yourself.
Be grateful. Every day think of a few things you are grateful for. We are so lucky, but it is easy to forget, if we do not take time out to remind ourselves. Think positively; every time you have negative thoughts, try to think of three positive ones.
Find a lesson in your experiences; find your purpose in life. All of these events in your life bring lessons and skills that add to your abilities and your life. Find the message and use it.
Laugh; watch comedies, read funny books and laugh at yourself and your situation as much as possible. Laughter increases your sense of well-being. Spend time with people who make you laugh.
Resiliency is an ongoing effort
Once you start on this journey, you will be on it for life. Resiliency feeds on itself; it is a self fulfilling cycle. It helps you handle change and therefore you will be more open to change going forward. With every change and every success, you will become stronger and more willing to take on the next one. Soon you will be taking on the world.