As much as we wish to travel smoothly through the river of life, white waters of varying difficulty may throw us off of our safety raft.
Some may just easily get on the raft easily but for some, the process is hard and seemingly impossible. A death of a loved one, losing a job, a serious illness and other traumatic events are facts of living our human lives.
Many people react to such events with unbalancing feeling of insecurity and uncertainty. Though people generally adapt well over time, some adopts quickly with resiliency. What enables others to bounce back readily is our subject today.
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of stormy waters. Many studies show that resilience is enhanced primarily by having caring and supportive relationships within and outside of the family. Life adversities pull us together in a compassionate energetic oneness that can essentially move mountains, so to speak.
Individually, your skills in communicating and problem solving contribute to your resilience. It starts with having a positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities as well as your capacity to manage strong feelings and impulses.
Developing resilience is a personal journey. There are many factors that influence our view of the world, including how we view and respond to difficulties and stressful events. Cultural differences, varying educational backgrounds, family and societal norms contribute to our uniqueness. Even members of the same family have varying levels of resilience using different strategies.
Here are some strategies that can help you build you in your journey to better resiliency from the experts (American Psychological Association):
• Nurture a positive view of yourself and take care of yourself. Everything you need is within you. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Love your body. Exercise regularly. Your well-tuned body and a clear mind can better handle challenging life situations. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps build resilience.
• Make connections. Good relationships with close family members, friends or others are important. Accepting help and support from those who care about you and will listen to you strengthens resilience. Some people find that being active in civic groups, faith-based organizations, or other local groups provides social support and can help with reclaiming hope. Assisting others in their times of need also greatly benefits the helper.
• Maintain a hopeful outlook. Harvest the good on any difficult situations. Anticipate the calm after the storm. Being optimistic enables you to expect that good things will happen in your life because you are worth it. Do not focus on the undesirable situation. Visualize your ideal situation with hope and positive expectation.
• Accept that change is part of living. Certain goals may no longer be attainable as a result of unexpected unfavorable events. Accepting circumstances that cannot be changed will help you focus on the ones you can. You may not be able to change the fact that highly stressful events happen in your life, but with all certainty, you can control how you interpret and respond to these events.
• Move toward your goals and take decisive actions. Set out to have a worthy goal. Every small step towards the attainment of your worthy goal will move you to the direction of your goal. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, paraphrasing a famous quote.
• Maintain flexibility and balance in your life. Sometimes you step forward taking actions to deal with the demands of daily living, but at times you step back to rest and reenergize yourself. Spend time with loved ones to gain support and encouragement, but also find time to nurture you in the sweet silence of being alone. Rely on others, and also rely on yourself. Allow yourself to experience your emotions, and realized when you need to develop a shield for temporary protection until you are ready to face them.