How Can I Become More Resilient?
For all of us, the recent months have been a period of added stress and worry, which may have left you wondering whether you could’ve been better equipped to deal with it all. Some people are naturally better at coping with stress or life’s troubles than others, but regardless of your personality type, we could all do with protecting ourselves a little better through developing emotional resilience. Resilience is defined as “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”, and never more has it been more relevant. You do not require superhuman abilities or inherent traits to deal with stress and it goes without saying that our varying responses to difficulties are all valid. Nonetheless, it is beneficial for your mental wellbeing to be able to bounce back, adapt and overcome challenges whilst keeping a happy head. The more resilient you can become, the more stable your mental health will be!
- Look after your physical wellbeing: sleep and exercise!
Make sure to consistently get a good night’s rest, as sleep quality has a direct impact on brain function and physical health. A quiet and undisturbed period of rest will leave you refreshed and energised for the day ahead, giving you a greater defence against stress. To enhance this effect even more, try exercising during the day, which will leave you buzzing with mood-boosting endorphins and feeling invincible! Even 15 minutes will be enough to put you in a resilient headspace.
- Develop a relaxation strategy:
Anything from breathing exercises and meditation, to yoga or swimming; find something in your life which allows you to switch off completely and settle any turbulent thoughts. Whenever you are overwhelmed or experiencing that gnawing feeling of stress, relying on a relaxation technique can help re-centre yourself and prevent catastrophizing a situation. Go and take your mind into a different world for a while and you will feel much more powerful than a problem.
- Get some hobbies:
A hobby may overlap with your method to relax, but this is all for the better! Having hobbies is so important to protect yourself from withdrawal and tunnel vision – it is far easier to feel capable of dealing with challenges when you have an outlet showing you that other positive things do exist! Think of it as spreading your base to give you greater stability: hobbies can help you meet new people, find a shared passion and most importantly, give you a balance to your life which will increase resilience when the going gets tough.
- Build a support network:
A cornerstone to developing resilience is having a network of people you can rely on for emotional and moral support. Having friends or family members to talk to will allow healthy discussion of solutions and at the very least, give you a safe place to load off stress and concerns. Stress is never a sign of weakness and if you can build relationships with people you can trust, their support will be invaluable in giving you a different perspective or showing you are not alone. Resilience is almost natural when you can surround yourself with positive influences.
- Cut down on negative self-talk:
There is already enough stress in the world without a criticising inner voice to add to the mix. Focus on identifying any negative self-talk and changing it to something more positive and constructive. For example, instead of saying ‘I am not good enough’, say ‘I’ll try my best and I have plenty of strengths’: replacing negative, self-esteem destroying thoughts with ones that acknowledge your worth will build greater confidence. A faith in your own abilities is key to resilience and having high self-esteem will enable you to approach challenges optimistically.
Resilience will not occur overnight, but through working on certain aspects of your life, you will feel more robust and find that problems seem less troublesome than before.
Good luck with trying these tips out!