The Mayo Clinic stresses the importance of resilience for the sake of your mental health. Studies have shown that resilience can not only lessen the effects of stress and existing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety but also prevent you from developing conditions such as PTSD or substance abuse.
The truth is that there is no secret to becoming more resilient, but there is always a path that you can take to get there. Think about what it means to be resilient, follow these steps to get there, and watch your life slowly transform for the better.
Resiliency is a person’s ability to bounce back from hardships and cope with tough times. According to Verywell Mind, the characteristics of a resilient person include but are not limited to:
- A sense of control
- Good problem-solving skills
- Strong social connections
- Identifying as a survivor of crises rather than a victim of them
- The ability to ask for help
Being resilient is about more than just the ability to get through trials unscathed. It’s about being able to grow from them. To begin your path to greater resiliency, do the following five things now.
You might think that some people are simply wired to be resilient and some are not, but this is not actually the case. Anyone can become more resilient if they want to, but growth can’t happen when self-doubt is in the way.
Being modest won’t do you any favors here: you do have what it takes to be more resilient, and you can start building your resiliency now. Trust that these statements are true about yourself and internalize them. If trusting yourself is something that you struggle with regularly, consider tackling this issue.
How does the more resilient version of yourself act? How do they respond to challenges or conflicts? What do they look like before and after periods of difficulty?
Work to understand the things that are most likely to break you down and imagine a person that doesn’t let these things change them for the worse.
You might not have a great idea of what the best, most resilient version of yourself looks like right away, but you’ll learn more about them over time. Journaling would be a great habit to get into if you don’t do this already to track your growth toward resiliency. Before long, you’ll get to meet the person you’ve envisioned—you’ll be the better version of yourself.
Whenever you’re working toward a new goal, it’s important that you check in with yourself frequently along the way. The same goes for when you are working on building resiliency. How are you doing? How are you feeling? Does anything seem different since you started making changes?
If you’ve identified a need for more resiliency in your life, odds are you face difficulties on at least a semi-regular basis. For this exercise, you should see these as opportunities. When an opportunity to practice resiliency—a challenge—presents itself, how do you respond? Do you revert back to bad habits of letting hardship defeat you, or do you rise to the occasion and face problems head-on?
This transformation to becoming more resilient will take time. Stay positive and hopeful when you slip up and celebrate every small victory. Reflect on what you’re doing and what still needs to be done.
Perhaps there is someone in your life that strikes you as being especially resilient. Maybe you admire the way that a friend or family is able to move past difficulty. If you are lucky enough to have someone like this in your life, learn from them. Soak up as much advice as they are willing to give, or simply observe their behaviors. You might even ask these people to mentor you.
Remember also that resiliency doesn’t mean getting through challenges alone, it just means not letting challenges break you. You should still reach out to people when you need help.
Throughout your life, you will fall short. This is an undeniable fact that you should work every day to become more comfortable with.
Learning to forgive yourself for mistakes is a major aspect of building resilience. If you hold onto guilt every time you slip up, you’re not going to be able to recover from setbacks or truly get closure after trials and tribulations.
Your mental wellness depends on a healthy amount of self-forgiveness, but forgiving yourself is easier said than done. Always take all the help you can get. This guided meditation for self-forgiveness is a great resource for reflecting on and letting go of negative feelings that hold you back from forgiving yourself and building resilience.