Resiliency isn’t necessarily something you’re born with, but it’s a skill that certainly can be learned.
The following are tips to help you become more resilient:
**Create an emotional support "team." **People who are resilient tend to have close relationships with family and friends. These are people who help you cope with difficult situations. The first step to becoming more resilient is to surround yourself with people who will listen and be supportive, without offering judgment.
Accept that ** stressful situations **** occur, but that they aren’t insurmountable.** What were your biggest problems a year ago? Three years ago? Five years ago? Do you even remember? We encounter stressful situations all the time, but we usually manage to resolve them or they simply disappear. Keep in mind that no matter how large the problem that you are facing seems, it isn’t insurmountable 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 them. 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 the process 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 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. You have made it through many changes and you will make it through many more.
Focus on your strengths. When working through a problem, many people tend to focus on all their failings and the reasons why the task will be difficult. Instead, focus on the strengths you have (and we all have strengths) and how those strengths will help you work through the problem.
Know your shortcomings. Just as important as focusing on 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) 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 other individuals or situations that can’t be fixed. Instead, 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.
**Learn from your past. **You have overcome many obstacles in your life up to this point. How did you do it? What strengths did you rely on? Use lessons from past challenges to help you get through your current situation.
Practice ** optimism.** Those who are resilient have an optimistic view of life. If you tend to take a negative, pessimistic view of things, practice changing your thoughts to look at the bright side. Remind yourself to shift your thoughts to be more positive and optimistic.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.