We’ve all heard the word resilience and can often think of someone we know who is able to pick themselves up in the face of adversity and carry on. But what’s resilience all about? And how on earth do you get more of it?
Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the challenges we face in life. These challenges could be from anything life throws at us- from losing our jobs, breaking up from a relationship, illness, trauma, money problems and many more. It can also be how we react to the smaller things in life- such as missing the train, being late, having a bad meeting at work or perhaps having a fight with our partner.
Being resilient helps us to weather life’s storms and helps us grow into a stronger person in the process. It’s about being able to pick ourselves up and move forward – knowing that we can handle whatever life throws at us.
The good news is resilience is something we can all nurture and grow in ourselves, every day. So when big life events happen that rock our foundations, we can, in our own time, pick ourselves up and move forward in our lives- knowing we can handle whatever comes our way. And when the everyday things happen that throw us off kilter and challenge us, we are buoyant enough to not let it impact and ruin our day.
Here are some ways you can build your resilience bank;
- Building your inner awareness- What’s you mind saying? What are your inner beliefs? When we listen and become aware of the inner chatterbox voice inside us, we have an opportunity to consciously ask ourselves if our beliefs we hold are true- often we carry around outdated ideas about ourselves that hold us back and keep us small in our lives. To find out what’s going on inside with your inner chatterbox, spend some time every day in quiet and become aware of what repeating phrases and messages come up, it can help to reflect on this in a notebook or use Pink Moods Self Discovery guides. With this information, you then have a chance to ask yourself if the message is true and if it helps you with where you want to be in life.
- Find yourself a resilience hero- who can you think of that has overcome adversity and come out the other side stronger? Find out about their life. What did they do to overcome difficult times? What can you learn from this that you can use in your own life? Your resilience hero doesn’t need to be a famous person, it could be a neighbour or work colleague who has weathered life’s challenges and come out the other side stronger. Or someone in the Pink Moods community who has been there.
- Reflect- look back over your life and think of all the challenges you have faced- what helped you bounce back? What strengths did you show? What was in place to help you move forward in life? Perhaps you had a close network of friends or quiet time to reflect, or a vision of the future, whatever helped you can be cultivated to help you in the future as well.
- Believe in your own ability- what are you good at? What are you proud of in life? What compliments do you receive from others? Reminding ourselves of who we are and what we can bring to situations helps build our sense of worth. To help with this create a scrapbook of all you’ve achieved in life and look at it when you get down to help remind you of how fabulous you are!
- Create a playlist of ‘build you up’ songs- music has an amazing ability at picking us up when life gets us down- create a playlist to inspire you when life gets on top of you- some songs to get you started are; S-Club 7- Bring it all Back, Sugarbabes-Stronger, M-People- Search for the Hero,
- Inner voice- listen to your intuition, this is your guide in life. Listening to your intuition can take a little bit of practice, being able to distinguish it from other inner voices can be a challenge. To help, take quite time to reflect on when you’ve had a gut feel about something, what happened? How did this gut feel show itself to you? Was it through an image that pops up in the mind, or perhaps you felt a fluttering in your stomach or had a feeling you couldn’t articulate but just knew. By becoming aware of how our intuition comes to us it helps us tune into it when we face challenging times and be able to find the answers we need.
- Finding meaning in adversity- when you have gone through difficult times, ask yourself, what have you learnt? How has it helped you grow? What has it taught you about who you are as a person?
- Build up your tank of positive emotions- research indicates that positive emotions help build up our buoyancy – building up your tank of positive emotions is about doing things in your life that make you happy- ask yourself how can you bring more joy, amusement and happiness into your life everyday?
- Goals and life vision- when we know what we want in life and have goals in place, it helps us to focus on where we want to be when life throws challenges at us- making a vision board is a great way to create your future vision.
When you are in the midst of a challenging time;
- Breathe- when we are going through a difficult time we often forget to breathe properly. Breath really helps calm us and brings us clarity. Try breathing out for a slightly longer out-breath as this has been proven to calm your body.
- Laughter – laughing helps relieve stress and physiologically helps us manage challenging times. It may seem the last thing you want to do is to have laughter in your life but finding a funny clip to look at on YouTube, or keeping a scrap book of things that make you laugh are a great way to relieve the tension and lighten up the situation. A laughter buddy is a great way to lighten the mood with whatever life throws our way.
- Connect with loved ones- having supportive loved ones to connect with in times of difficulty really helps to get us back on track- knowing we are not alone and have love around us.
- Get out in nature- being out in greenery- be it a park or big open spaces – helps ground us and reminds us that we are part of something bigger- it gives us perspective.
- Self nurture- allow yourself time to heal and regroup. Sometimes it can be a challenge knowing how to do this, a good place to start is creating a nurturing list. This is a ‘pick me up’ list to turn to when you are feeling low. Some ideas to get you started are; a candlelit bubble bath, a hot chocolate with cream and flake, a walk in the park, watching your favourite feel good movies.
In the midst of difficult times, there is a quote that I remind myself of; ‘This too shall pass’ I don’t know who wrote it, but it has stuck with me as a reminder that we have good and bad things that happen in life, we can’t control life and what comes our way but, what we can be certain of is that things will change and the storm we are currently in will pass by and calm with ensue.
In life we all have a choice about how we respond to situations that come our way, we can learn from difficulties and challenges and grow or we can not.
Choice is key- we all have a choice if we sink or swim with what comes at us. When we choose to swim and to survive we are saying yes to a future and yes to growing into that strong being inside all of us.