Resilience. Love this word. Google hunting gives these definitions of resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability to spring back into shape like an elastic band.
Yah, it’s that ineffable ability to bounce the hell back after life kicks your ass and knocks you down. And bounce back stronger. An awesome quality to have. And something that can be strengthened.
Think of a time when something happened and you were left feeling like you’d been sucker-punched. Gross feeling right? How did you react? How long did that icky feeling last? Were you able to shake it off and move forward? Sure it depends on how big or serious a situation is, but no matter what happens there’s always a reaction/transition time after. Resilience is all about the length of time it takes you to recover and start moving forward. Some people seem to be able to just keep soldiering on regardless of the severity of what happens. Others are immobilized, paralyzed, just can’t cope at all.
There are ways to work on your resilienceness…obviously practice leads to improvement. Easier said than done because well, when you’re getting practice it’s not likely a fun experience. Getting knocked down usually sucks; however improving your ability to bounce back from something hard is a great thing. Here are a few things to do:
keep a positive attitude
take care of yourself
identify as a survivor, not a victim
embrace your social connections
be flexible, embrace change
Keeping a positive attitude can be tricky when you’re feeling beat up…we’ve all been there - when someone tells you to “stay positive” and you just feel like punching them in the face or giving them the finger. But, there’s something to be said about ‘fake it til you make it’. Just keep trying to be positive. What does that look like? You know that annoying voice in your head that buzzes constantly in a negative tone? Tell it where to go. As soon as you hear that voice, replace it with a positive word or phrase. Trust me, with practice this gets waaaaaaayyyyyy easier. Just do it.
Take care of yourself: be kind to yourself, exercise everyday, eat healthy, drink lots of water, get enough sleep. This isn’t rocket science. Do not alienate yourself from the world.
Set goals. Setting goals gives you something to work towards. Yes you’re going to miss a few, but you’ll learn to reroute. And that’s practice….you get a curve ball, you adjust. It gets easier. Keeping your eyes on your target will keep you focussed and you’ll get better and better at handling distractions. Keep in mind distractions aren’t always a bad thing, and are often beneficial in guiding you in your right direction.
Survivor mode. Not victim mode. Do not let yourself play the victim. You are strong, and when you get knocked down you get back up…:). Letting yourself slip into victim mode, that just stalls the getting back on your feet process. Don’t do it. Tap into your inner superhero. Up ya get!
Your social connections matter. We thrive on making connections, feeling connected. Surround yourself with good people. Lean on them when you need to. That’s what friends are for right?
Embrace change. Try to be flexible. Life is always changing. Sometimes you know what’s happening and lot’s of times you don’t. Be flexible and you’ll be happier. How boring would life be if it was always the same?!
Getting knocked down sucks. Getting back up is varying degrees of ‘OMG I can’t do this!!!’, but with practice can be more like ‘ugh this feels hard but I’m doing it anyway’. Do yourself a favour and the next time your feet getting taken out from under you use the above tips. Setbacks happen, they build character. Deal with them, and keep moving forward. The more resilient you are the happier you’ll be :).