Learning to boost your resilience is relatively simple if you go about it consistently. Getting into the right mindset is all-important. From there, some simple steps will help you develop resilience as the essential life skill that it is.
The more resilient you are the better you are able to use your strengths and skills to cope and recover from problems and challenges like changes at work, job loss, financial pressures, illness, natural disasters and emergencies, divorce or bereavement.
Being more resilient does not mean stress disappears, but it brings the ability to overcome adversity and move forward with your life.
Being able to ‘bounce back’ like this doesn’t mean that you avoid stress. The problems of life affect us all, but more resilience means better coping, less disruption, and the ability to learn and grow rather than wither and grind to a halt when the pressure’s on.
It also means that you’ll be better at protecting yourself. For example, by spotting the early warning signs of stress in yourself, and taking action to help yourself before the stress builds up to unmanageable levels..
Here are the keys to boost your resilience
Becoming resilient requires a shift in thinking;
I call these three areas of focus the Three ‘A’s. They are Aspiration, Attitude and Adaptability.
Create a Life Development Plan and derive a personal mission statement from that. It will inspire and guide and help you articulate your values and identity.
Develop attitudes of Commitment, Care and Confidence towards the things you do and adopt a mindful approach to tasks.
Viewing a negative event as a challenge – an opportunity for learning and development rather than a crisis– helps build resilience.
So these three As contribute top a resilience mindset. They are the major keys to build and boost your resilience.
Once you have begun to develop that mindset, here are some further tips to help you towards greater resilience:
Nine steps to resilience
1. Cherish social support and interaction. Good relationships with family and friends and others are vital. Being active in the wider community also helps.
2. Treat life as a learning process. Develop the habit of using challenges as opportunities to acquire or master skills and build achievement.
3. Avoid making a drama out of a crisis. Stress and change are part of life. How we interpret and respond to events has a big impact of how stressful we find them.
4. Celebrate your successes. Take time at the end of each day to review what went well and congratulate yourself. This trains the mind to look for success rather than dwelling on negativity and ‘failure’.
5. Develop realistic life goals for guidance and a sense of purpose. Do something each day to move towards them. Again, small is beautiful; one small step amid the chaos of a busy day will help.
6. Take positive action. Doing something in the face of adversity brings a sense of control, even if it doesn’t remove the difficulty.
7. Nurture a positive view of yourself. Developing confidence in your ability to solve problems and trusting your instincts helps to build resiliency.
8. Keep a realistic perspective. Place challenging or painful events in the broader context of lifelong personal development.
9. Practice optimism. Nothing is either wholly good or bad. Make your thinking work for your benefit, rather than letting it stymie you with doubt or by seeing only the bad side.
It doesn’t end there (for example, try these three unusual ideas to boost your resilience). But these nine steps are the tried and tested way to go about it.
Boost your resilience and you won’t look back. It won’t necessarily mean less that and life’s difficulties disappear, but it confers the ability to tackle problems head on, to overcome adversity and move on with their lives. You’ll deal with the stress differently, sooner and more effectively. You’ll recognise what you can control and what you can’t, and your life will take a turn for the better.