Attitudes That Build Resilience
These days we hear the argument in favor of resilience over and over. In the other hand, maybe you can’t help but feeling deep inside that you have no idea where to start your practice. Is there really a turning point, where you say to yourself, OK, today I’m starting to work on my resilience! Yes and no. While, there is societal momentum for resilience, and by now you may probably realize that you could use some of it in your life; resilience building is a process that begins with the small actions resulting from a gradual awakening of your consciousness. The positive side of this is that once you start towards the path, even if you do it with tiny steps, you start to feel different and perceive that radical change is building from the inside.
Here are some attitudes that will help you build resilience and color your days with brighter outcomes:
Reach out. Build strong, positive relationships with loved ones and friends who can provide you with needed support and acceptance in both good times and bad. Action tip: Make that phone call, make that get together happen, don’t just say, “I will call you one of these days”. Show others that you are interested in reaching out to them. Some will respond, some won’t, but those people that show you back that intention in connecting, are the ones you want to keep in your life.
Make every day meaningful. Do something that gives you a sense of accomplishment and purpose every day. Set goals to help you look toward the future with meaning. Action tip: Jolt down a to-do list of the positive things you accomplish every day. Don’t like to write? No problem, just mentally go over that short list when you are brushing your teeth.
Learn from experience. Think of how you’ve coped with hardships in the past. Consider the skills and strategies that helped you through rough times. You might even write about past experiences in a journal to help you identify positive and negative behavior patterns — and guide your future behavior. Action tip: Again, writers will enjoy this but if you don’t like to write, just record voice memos in your iPhone.
Embrace time as it is. Yesterday is gone and time is sequential. Today is a new day and a new opportunity unfolds. Accepting and even anticipating that two days are not similar makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety. Action tip: Explore something new, even if it is a different way to order your food in a restaurant, or change routes in your way home.
Take care of yourself. Tend to your own needs and feelings. Participate in activities and hobbies you enjoy. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Get plenty of sleep. Eat a healthy diet. Practice stress management and relaxation techniques, such as yoga, meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing or prayer. Action tip: Have a “me” time. This time is not TV, Facebook time, or texting friends time. This is a moment reserved for yourself to be with the most important person in your life: yourself.
Set a time to think about what needs to be done. Don’t ignore or procrastinate your problems. Instead, figure out what needs to be done, make a plan and take action. Although it can take time to recover from a major setback, traumatic event or loss, understand that your situation can’t be improved by itself without your involvement. Action tip: Set a particular time for this; do not ruminate all day about the problem and the solution. And if possible, make a sincere attempt to share with the least number of people. Broadcasting your sorrows will bring you more pain, because often people don’t really care or can give you a solution for your problems.
Last, but not least my most important tip is to just remember to be kind to yourself as you would be with a little child. Remember that some new ways of doing things are not what we have been taught since childhood or what we are used to. So, maintain your focus and purpose with self compassion and consider this “resilience training” as important as learning a second language or a new career skill. In fact, resilience is one of the most important components of emotional intelligence; no other skill will take you so far and efficiently in finding wellbeing and meaning in your life.
With all my heart,