Life can be challenging but being resilient allows you to maintain your physical, psychological, and emotional well-being despite the circumstances. Resilience is the ability to adapt and bounce back from adversity or difficult situations. This blog delves into different types of resilience, factors contributing to resilience, and strategies to become more resilient.
Types of Resilience
There are different types of resilience that can help support yourself and deal with challenging times:
- Physical Resilience: Physical resilience is exhibited when your body is able to deal with and recover from physical stress, illnesses, and injuries. This is essential in order to keep a healthy body and age well. You can strengthen your physical resilience by getting enough rest, having an organic balanced diet, supplementing, and working out regularly
- Mental Resilience: Being able to use your cognitive processes in an effective way during stressful times is mental resilience. This allows you to adapt, move forward, be flexible and calm, use problem-solving, and deal with uncertainty.
- Emotional Resilience: The ability to regulate your emotions during times of crisis is emotional resilience. When you are emotionally resilient, you are aware of how you feel inside, you have control over your emotional reactions, and you are able to maintain serenity.
- Social Resilience: This involves your competency to connect and work with others. It can be to solve problems that affect you individually or collectively in a community.
Factors Affecting Resilience
To be able to build resilience at all levels, it helps to understand what factors are involved in the process. Age, exposure to trauma, and gender are some examples of factors that people have no control over. Plus, some people are more apt at dealing with stress than others. With that being said, resilience is not a set trait but a skill that can be developed.
Other factors that contribute to resiliency can be addressed and improved with practice. Here are some factors influencing resilience that are within your control:
- View of the World: The way you view the world affects how you feel about it and how you act and react to it. Viewing the world negatively is detrimental. For instance, viewing it as a dangerous place where people can’t get ahead positions you on the defensive, in an inferior stance, and in a victim role.
- Locus of Control: This is your belief about the extent to which you have control over events that impact your life. When you have an external locus of control, you believe that outside forces have a total and direct effect on you. Conversely, when you have an internal locus of control, you believe that you have a direct influence on your life. This greater sense of control allows you to be more solution-oriented and more proactive when dealing with stress.
- Spirituality: Being spiritual and/or having a connection with a higher power has been associated with stronger resilience. This helps you believe that challenging situations are not permanent and will get better, giving you more inner peace.
- Emotional Awareness and Regulation: Being aware of how you really feel and the sources of your emotional states is necessary to be able to deal with others and circumstances appropriately. When you are more in touch with your own inner life, you can observe your internal self, regulate your emotions, and avoid reacting to every little trigger.
- Mindset: Your mindset – your thoughts, beliefs, and interpretation of the world – has a direct effect on your emotional state and actions. Having a positive mindset keeps you hopeful and empowered, and mobilizes you into a solution mode quickly. It helps you recognize that you can’t change the past but can influence the future. It’s the opposite of having a victim mentality and seeing the glass half-empty.
- Adaptability: Being adaptable allows you to adjust to new situations. It keeps you flexible and embracing change and uncertainty during challenging times. Remember, “It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin.
Strategies to Become More Resilient
As mentioned earlier, greater resilience can be cultivated. Resilient individuals show mental fortitude, flexibility, healthier coping skills, higher adjustability, and a capacity to learn from and grow through difficult situations.
Here are some strategies for becoming more resilient:
- Be Adaptable: Be more flexible in the face of unexpected events and understand that life is uncertain. This allows you to adjust to whatever situation you encounter.
- Improve Your Worldview: If you have the tendency to view your world in a negative light, challenge and change those ingrained beliefs that don’t serve you.
- Upgrade Your Self-View: If deep down inside you don’t feel good about yourself (not worthy, unlovable, not good-looking enough, smart enough, etc.), work on building your self-esteem.
- Be Totally Responsible: Instead of having an external locus of control (believing that you don’t have much control over your life and that life happens to you), understand and believe that every situation in your life is your creation and the result of a compilation of your choices. This stance puts you in charge of your life and allows you to let go of things that are out of your control.
- Improve Your Spiritual Life: Become more spiritual so you can display more strength and faith during adversity while being more centered and calm.
- Be Aware of Your Thoughts and Emotions To Be in Control of Them: Understand that your thoughts directly influence how you feel and act. Work to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings during every situation. This self-awareness can help you be insightful and in control of your emotions, helping you respond more effectively to hardship.
- Be Positive: Have an optimistic outlook – focus on the positives and find ways to reframe negative situations. This outlook helps you act more efficiently and view challenges as less insurmountable and as opportunities for growth.
- Maintain Perspective: In challenging situations, try to maintain a broader perspective and look at the problem at hand from different angles. Recognize that the current crisis or problem is just one part of your life, and it will pass.
- Problem-Solve: Develop your problem-solving abilities to better address challenges. Break down problems into manageable small steps and take action to solve them.
- Set Goals: Set achievable goals and work towards them. Having a sense of purpose and direction can provide motivation and allow you to persevere during difficult times.
- Take Care of Yourself: Self-care is essential so you don’t put your physical and mental well-being at risk. This includes getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress adequately.
- Learn from Failure: Resilience often comes from learning from past failures and setbacks. Rather than dwelling on mistakes, use them as opportunities for growth and improvement.
- Have a Sense of Humor: Be able to laugh at life’s difficulties. This is a great asset that helps you shift perspectives and serves as a buffer when your body deals with stress.
- Get Social Support: Build and maintain a strong network of friends, family, or colleagues. These relationships can provide emotional support and practical assistance during tough times.
- Incorporate Stress Management Techniques: Coping with stress in a healthy manner allows you to move forward without being overwhelmed, panicky, or depressed. Mindfulness and meditation are some practices that you can integrate since these can help you stay present, reduce anxiety, regulate your emotions, and have mental clarity.
- Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling with severe adversity or facing mental health challenges and you feel that you can’t deal on your own, don’t hesitate to seek professional support. Therapists, counselors, and support groups can provide guidance and assistance.
- Develop Resilient Habits: Make resilience-building a habit. Consistently practice the above strategies to build your resilience over time.
Being more adaptable, spiritual, connected to your inner self, in charge of your emotions and actions, having a positive view of yourself and the world, tapping into your community, and incorporating stress management techniques are some of the strategies that help you become more resilient. So go ahead and develop and fortify this trait to be better equipped to navigate through challenges and setbacks while having fewer negative emotions.
To a Fitter Healthier You,
The Fitness Wellness Mentor