Life is hard. There is no way to avoid it. All of us face difficulties. When facing difficult circumstances, we have a decision to make. We can decide to give up or we can decide to keep moving forward. Giving up is easy, it takes little to no effort. Moving forward however, is hard work. Therefore, we must develop resilience to be able to navigate life’s challenging situations. Resilience is the ability to be an overcomer. A resilient person is tough. They are hopeful and courageous. You may not feel tough, hopeful or courageous now, but you can become these things. Probably, you are already more resilient than you think. If you want to build more resilience in your life, here are three ways to do it.
#1: Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of yourself is important. When we are physically, emotionally and spiritually healthy, we are able to face what life throws at us with confidence. Addressing all of these areas of health will help us to build resilience.
Physical health impacts us more than you may think. When we eat well, exercise, and address health issues we are improving our emotional health as well as our physical health. Studies show that exercising releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins cause a decrease in pain, and an increase in pleasure. They help in times of stress and reinforce attachment in our relationships. Who knew you could receive all these benefits just from going for a run?
Emotional health is also important for resilience. When we are emotionally healthy, we are more effective at problem solving to manage difficult situations. We are also able to think more clearly and make wiser choices. There are many ways to address emotional health. We can journal, build relationships, create art, be thankful, and think positively, just to name a few. If you need extra help to manage your emotional health, you could see a therapist or join a support group. It is important to seek professional help if you are ever so overwhelmed by your emotions you can’t function well in relationships, work, or taking care of yourself. You should seek help right away if you ever think about hurting yourself or others.
Spiritual health is equally important. When we are healthy spiritually we have a sense of meaning, importance, and a connection to something bigger than ourselves. Some ways to develop spiritual health are spending time praying or meditating, reading books about spirituality, spending time with others who are building healthy spirituality, or practicing an organized religion. We are all spiritual beings. When we neglect to address spirituality, we are missing out on an important part of ourselves.
#2: Build Mastery
Building mastery is another important part of resilience. Mastery is the ability to complete a task or reach goals. One way to build mastery is practicing a new skill. Maybe you already have a skill you are developing. Practice it. If you do not have a skill, look for something new to learn. Maybe you have a talent you aren’t developing yet. It doesn’t really matter what skill you choose to master. When we learn a new skill and get better and better at it, we build up our confidence which helps us when we face tough times.
Along with learning a skill, setting and achieving goals can help build confidence leading to resilience. Remember to set reasonable goals. Your dream may be to buy a brand new car. Most of us however, can’t just walk onto a lot and pay for a brand new car. We need small goals to get us there. Maybe this week you could research the most cost-effective types of cars. This is a small achievable goal that can help you reach your dream. Setting daily achievable goals helps us to build resilience.
#3: Fail Well
Failure is not fun. It is discouraging when we work hard at something and it doesn’t turn out how we had hoped. It is easy to give up or feel defeated. Instead of giving up, why not learn to fail well? Failing well means learning from our mistakes. It means asking ourselves what we can do next time to make it even better. When we fail, we must not talk down to ourselves. Failing doesn’t make us failures, it makes us human. Humans fail and make mistakes. Every single one of us does it. See failure as an opportunity to learn.
Not only should we see failure as an opportunity to learn, we should see it as an opportunity to grow. When we have a growth mindset, we don’t see failures we see challenges. When something doesn’t go the way we’d like, we are challenged to stand up, brush the dirt off our hands and try again. Always remember that we can grow in any circumstance. Sometimes, we grow most from the hard things. As a bonus, when we stand back up and keep trying we are building mastery which, as we discussed earlier, leads to confidence.
We all face difficult situations, but we all have the capability to build resilience. Taking care of ourselves, building mastery, and failing well are three ways to do so. There are also many other ways to build resilience. Find what works for you and do it! Don’t try to do this alone. Surround yourself with people who are also trying to build resilience in their lives. Remember, you can be hopeful, courageous, and tough. You may not think so now, but try some of these things and see what happens.