Sadie Holloway is a writer and artist who uses the power of journaling to bring more peace, serenity, and joy into her life.
How to Overcome Difficult Times
Why are some people able to bounce back after an upsetting life event? They're flexible and resilient. In this article, I will share six ways to foster a resilient attitude in the face of whatever life throws your way.
Resilience is the capacity to weather stressful events and traumatic experiences. Often called "the ability to bounce back" after a bad turn of events, resilience is what keeps the human spirit alive and hopeful in the face of tragic or unexpected events. Suddenly losing your job and being forced to switch careers could be defined as one such type of stressful event. Divorce is another. An unexpected illness or injury could also be considered quite stressful and traumatic. How you handle yourself in situations like these is determined by how well you have developed your resilience.
Six Ways to Bounce Back
Whether you've just experienced a job loss, the collapse of a significant relationship, or a financial setback, it is possible to bounce back and make the most of your situation. Here are six ways to foster a resilient attitude in the face of whatever life throws your way.
- Develop healthy self-care practices. Stress can exact a physical toll on your body. Stress hormones, the release of cortisol, chronic inflammation—these physiological responses to difficult situations can wear you down and make it difficult to bounce back after adverse life events. That’s why taking care of your health all year round, not just when the tough stuff happens, is essential to your well-being.
- Foster close relationships with family and friends. Having a community of people around you whom you can trust when the going gets tough is a strong antidote to crumbling under difficult circumstances. Cultivating close relationships with others helps establish a sense that you are not alone, that people care about you, and that you matter in the world.
- Cultivate a positive sense of self. Know what your strengths are and have confidence that you have the skills and abilities to make the most of an upsetting situation.
- Know how to ask for help. One of the most important qualities that a person cultivate is the ability to ask for help. Instead of thinking that you must solve all your problems by yourself, that you must foster an independent spirit at all costs, get comfortable with turning to others and asking for help. The reason some people bounce back faster than others is that they aren’t ashamed to admit that they don’t have all the answers. They know how to seek out and find the resources that will help them reach their goals.
- Serve others. People who are the most resilient are the ones who serve others. Giving back to others puts your life in perspective. Volunteering, giving to charity, rendering assistance during emergency situations—any time you help others, you are boosting your stores of resiliency.
- Be open to learning from your mistakes. The folks who are the best at bouncing back in life are the ones who are humble, who are willing to ask themselves, “How can I become a better person because of what has happened?” when difficulties arise, whether those difficulties are at work or home.
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There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen
Resiliency isn’t something that people are just born with. It’s not an innate quality. Anyone can cultivate a resilient attitude. It develops over time, and with the right mindset, your resiliency actually gets stronger and stronger with every adverse experience you face. In fact, in order to develop a resilient attitude, you actually have to have "bad" experiences in life. You can’t develop a resilient mindset without regular practice. So, instead of running away from adversity or trying to avoid it altogether, face life's challenges head-on.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2017 Sadie Holloway
Robert E Smith from Rochester, New York on February 22, 2017:
Being resilient is completely necessary for a long life of good health. I have found my Jesus my strength and the "health of my countenance." What goes on inside your head and in your body truly are connected. I thought your article was very useful. It covered support systems, and physical health, and being humble enough to recognize mistakes made and learn from them. Another Biblical principle is to serve others, to get your mind off of self-pity and onto what may help others around you. It lends great strength to recover from a setback or trial in our lives. I thought you did a very good job here. Thank you. Bob.