With a little effort, resilience can be developed at any age. It becomes a way of thinking, or a habit of the mind, and then a life style. Over time, you can enhance your ability to bounce back from setbacks. To boost your own resilience and change the way you think about adversity, start here.
1. Connect with people. Whether it’s a close friend or family member, church group or volunteer organization, surround yourself with positive people who will listen, help, and support you.
2. Take care of yourself. Look after your emotional and physical needs. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. Make time for hobbies and activities you enjoy.
3. Anticipate and accept change. Like it or not, change is a constant in life. Rather than fighting it, try to anticipate change and prepare an appropriate response. Open yourself to new opportunities instead of dwelling on what seems lost. Be flexible.
4. Learn from your past. Think how you’ve handled past challenges, considering both positive and negative responses. Pattern future reactions on what worked, and actively avoid what did not.
5. Believe in yourself. Concentrate on your strengths and be proud of your accomplishments. Take time to build self-confidence and self-esteem. Remember that you are a capable, talented person who is in control of your own life.
6. Allow yourself to feel. Try not to hold on to unhappiness and anger, but don’t deny your feelings, either. We all have bad days. When you honestly express emotion, you can more easily put problems behind you and move on.
7. Change your outlook. Look for the positive, even in unpleasant and difficult situations. Believe that problems can be solved, and setbacks are only temporary. Expect the best instead of fearing the worst. Avoid playing the role of a victim.
8. Maintain perspective. People will always be better off and worse off than you. Don’t waste time comparing your situation to someone else’s, as you’ll likely feel guilty or dissatisfied. Simply consider your circumstances in the larger context of your own life. 9. Set goals and take action. Ignoring a problem will rarely make it go away, so set realistic goals and take active steps to reach them. Try to accomplish something every day, whether it’s cleaning that messy cupboard, making a difficult phone call, or starting that class you’ve been considering.
10. Get information. Information is empowering when we begin to tackle problems. Utilize resources. Knowing when to ask for help is a sign of strength.