Last week we talked about how those who are considered resilient, able to adapt and adjust to difficult situations, had less anxiety in the post, How Resiliency Impacts Anxiety Levels. Resiliency isn’t necessarily inherent, skills to be more resilient can be learned.
The following are tips to help you become more resilient:
Create an emotional support “team.” Those who are resilient have close relationships with family and friends. These people help you emotionally cope with difficult situations. The first step to becoming more resilient is to surround yourself with people will will listen and be supportive, without offering judgment.
Accept that stressful situations occur but they aren’t insurmountable. What were your biggest problems 1 year ago? 3 years ago? 5 years ago? Do you even remember? We encounter stressful situations all the time but the truth is, they somehow manage to be resolved or simply disappear as new problems surface. Keep in mind that no matter how large the problem you are facing seems, it isn’t insurmountable and you will get through it.
Create goals for your life. Make sure your goals are realistic and attainable. If you regularly feel as if you never get anything accomplished or reach your goals, it may be because you haven’t set realistic goals or mapped out the steps you need to take to reach those goals. Take each goal one step at a time and focus only on that step until it is completed. You will derive a sense of satisfaction and a boost to your self-esteem as you slowly continue working toward your goals.
Look at all situations, even difficult ones, as a way to learn and grow. Often, as we work through a problem, we learn about ourselves and come through a better or stronger person. As you deal with a stressful situation, think about what you can take away from the situation and how you can use the knowledge or strength to make your life better.
Accept that change is inevitable. Sometimes we fear a situation because it requires change in our life, and it is the unknown that we worry about. But change is a natural part of life, remember, you have made it through many changes prior to this and you will make it through many more.
Focus on your strengths. When working through a problem, many people fall back on “I can’t do this” and look at all their failings and reasons why this will be difficult. Instead, focus on the strengths you have (and we all have strengths) and how those strengths will help you during this time.
Know your shortcomings. Just as important as using your strengths is recognizing your shortcomings. There may be parts of your current situation you aren’t able to fix or deal with on your own. Rather than becoming frustrated reach out to others (your support system from the first tip) to help you solve those parts.
Accept that there are certain things you cannot change. Don’t spend a lot of time and energy trying to change others or change situations that are fixed. Use your energy to focus on changing yourself, your attitude toward the situation and those things you do have the power to change. Remember, while you can’t control everything that happens in life, you can control how you react to it.