How to Cultivate Resiliency
Resilience (noun): An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.
Why are some people content and satisfied with their lives even when faced with change and adversity?
We know that being happy all the time isn't realistic. We're humans, after all, and we will experience ups and downs in life that will make us feel sad and vulnerable at times. What helps some people get through tough times better than others, though, is their ability to nurture a resilient attitude when things are going well.
Here are some ways to nurture and strengthen your inner resources so that you can successfully navigate your way through unexpected events and challenging life circumstances.
Learn the difference between wearing rose-tinted glasses and being resilient.
Have a plan. They know where they want to go and they stay focused on the big picture. Write down clear goals. The most important step in simplifying your life and reducing stress is to make up your mind about what’s really important to you. What makes you feel alive? What fills you with joy? Who or what brings a smile to your face without even trying? Knowing these things will help you identify your values and goals. Then it’s just a matter of deciding how you want to spend your precious time and money bringing more of those things into your life.
Break your goals down into manageable pieces. People who get things done are the ones who find a way to do what they can, when they can, even it if means working on small bits of a project in short bursts of time. Being able to successfully complete important tasks everyday helps re-affirm your competence and confidence in yourself. If you only take on big projects with completion dates far into the future, you'll deprive yourself of the opportunity to celebrate your successes more often. Set yourself up for small success as often as you can if you want to be more resilient.
Seeing the big picture helps build resilience and reduce feelings of being overwhelmed.
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.— Robert Louis Stevenson
Learn how to manage your energy levels in a healthy and sustainable way. If you want to get more out of you day and feel more productive, figure out when your energy levels are at their highest peak. Are you a morning person? Do you get more done at night? Figure out when your energy levels are at their highest and capitalize on that time. Protect and defend that time so that you can get down to the projects that matter to you most. Use low energy points in the day to work on mindless tasks that don’t require much creativity or imagination.
Be humble and grateful every day. When you are feeling stressed out, create a mental gratitude list and just keep adding things to it off in your head until the stressful moment has passed. It's impossible for humans to simultaneously hold both stress and gratitude in our brains. Gratitude has a natural way of cancelling out anxious feelings, so when you start to feel overwhelmed by stress, flood your brain with thoughts of all the things that make you feel blessed.
No matter how good or bad you think your day was, always end each day by finding five things you are grateful for. Write them down in a gratitude journal or share them with someone close to you, like your spouse or your best friend.
Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.— M. Scott Peck
Develop good impulse control. That doesn't mean can't take risks or be spontaneous. It means knowing how to do the tough stuff first so that you can enjoy the fun stuff later. In his book, The Road Less Traveled, American psychiatrist M. Scott Peck identified self-mastery and the ability to delay gratification as an important part of an individual's emotional, physical and spiritual fulfillment.
Practice being more reflective and self-aware. At the end of each day, take a few minutes to write down what you learned. Did a child in your life tell you a funny joke? Did you learn something new that surprised you or challenged your beliefs about something? Did you make a mistake -- a flub, a gaffe, a faux-pas -- that you never want to make again in your life? Great! Write it down! As long as you are learning something new each and every day, you're making progress.
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© 2017 Sadie Holloway